Cologna and Kowalczyk had barely set their new crystal globes down before the doping news started emerging yesterday.
In Austria, "an unnamed cyclist and former Austrian Nordic ski coach Walter Mayer, who was involved in the 2006 Turin Olympics doping scandal, have been arrested in connection with new doping allegations." Though the cyclist is being called "K" rather than being named, that letter happens to be the first letter in the surname of the disgraced climbing phenom Bernhard Kohl, who won (and the was stripped of) the King of the Mountains jersey at the '08 Tour de France. Mayer's hijinks at Torino led to lifetime Olympic bans for Austrian skiers Jürgen Pinter, Johannes Eder, Martin Tauber, and Roland Diethart and the biathletes Wolfgang Rottmann and Wolfgang Perner. The FIS also punished Eder, Tauber, and Diethard with two-year bans which will end in November 2009.
... Neither of which contributed to the positive test for EPO by the young - and successful - Russian sprinter, Natalia Matveeva at the Callaghan Valley World Cups. Her "B" sample will be tested on Tuesday, March 24.
Matveeva's countryman, Sergei Shiraev, fresh off a doping suspension handed down after the Sapporo World Championships, posted the fastest time in Sunday's 15km pursuit at Falun - nine seconds faster than Vincent Vittoz. Presumably, Shiraev is well rested. (Maddeningly, the Eurosport UK announcers couldn't explain why Shiraev hadn't raced in 2007 and 2008, and guessed that he'd just been on bad form, and fallen off the Russian team.)
I can affirm I doped with nothing but skiing science in the World Cup Prediction Challenge.