SALT LAKE CITY (voa) - The International Olympic Committee says triple-gold medalist Johann Muehlegg of Spain, and gold medal-winner Larissa Lazutina of Russia, have tested positive for use of the performance-enhancing drug, darbepoetin.
Both cross-county skiers at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics have been expelled from the games, and each have been stripped of one gold medal. Russian cross-country skier along Olga Danilova, has also been expelled for using the same drug.
Darbepoetin increases the cardio-vascular endurance of an athlete's performance by stimulating the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to muscles under stress.
Muehlegg will lose his gold medal from the 50 kilometer classic race, but will keep gold medals from two previous races. Lazutina will lose her gold medal from the 30 kilometer classic race that took place Sunday, but will keep two silver medals. Gabriella Paruzzi of Italy, who finished second the 30 K race, will take the gold medal.
In the only other competition Sunday, Canada claimed the last gold medal of the 19th Winter games, beating the United States 5-2 in the men's hockey final. Joe Sakic scored twice for Canada.
In competition, Germany leads the way with a record 12 gold medals after earning two more on Saturday, and leads overall with 35 medals. Norway is in second place in the gold column, with 11 medals, ahead of the host United States, which has 10. In overall standings, the United States has earned 33 medals, 19 more than its previous best at a winter games.