TORINO: Alpine: Doping official approaches Steve Nyman from TV pitsSESTRIERE, Italy – The unorthodox methods of anti-doping officials at the Olympics continued Saturday when a man approached American skier Steven Nyman moments before he was to go on Italian TV following his final men’s downhill training run.
Nyman was poised to begin the interview when the official, standing in the TV box just past the finish line, leaned over plastic fencing and asked him to sign a form and submit to an unannounced test.
The American rookie, who has never been tested at a major event before, was about to sign the form when a U.S. press officer intervened.
”He was standing beside the RAI cameraman and said to Steve, ‘Sign here.’ I stopped Steve and said let’s take care of business first,” U.S. spokesman Marc Habermann said.
A U.S. team medical official who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject said the anti-doping officer was representing the Torino Organizing Committee — the only body allowed to demand tests at venues, according to International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies. A spokesman with the Torino committee said he couldn’t confirm whether the man who asked Nyman for samples was with the organization.
Athletes have only an hour to submit blood and urine samples after signing the doping form — a policy designed to ensure they can’t do anything such as using a masking agent that might let them beat the test.
When Nyman was confronted by the official, Habermann alerted International Ski Federation official Mike Kertesz, who requested that the anti-doping official not operate in the television area.
“I have no idea what his accreditation said or where he was allowed to go,” Kertesz said. “But he was standing next to the highest-paying TV company at the Olympic Games and it wasn’t the ideal spot for him to be asking Nyman to sign a form. … I redirected him out of the TV compound.”
Nyman was accompanied by a U.S. team doctor to go give his sample.
The incident came one day after anti-doping officials approached Hermann Maier in a similarly weird way.