Polish cross-country skier Kornelia Marek tests positive for EPO drug

Posted By: Selma Al-Faqih on March 12, 2010 11:37 am

The first major doping case of the Vancouver games is Polish cross-country skier Kornelia Marek tested positive for EPO.

Marek tested positive after helping Poland to finish 6th in the women’s 20K relay in Feb., says the Polish Olympic Committee.

Monika Scislowska reports if the International Olympic Committee finds Marek guilty, she and the relay teams would be disqualified and stripped of their Vancouver results. Marek would also be banned from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Marek denied taking any banned substances and awaits the second round of testing. “I hope it will be negative,” Marek told Polish television. “I have nothing to reproach myself for. I was never taking any banned substances.” EPO is a blood boosting drug; it enhances endurance by boosting the production of oxygen-rich red blood cells in the body.

The Polish Olympic Committee said the IOC notified it of the positive result late Monday. The results of the “B” sample test will be known Tuesday or Wednesday, spokesman Henryk Urbas said.

“Then we will know if we are dealing with a case of doping,” Urbas told The Associated Press. “She is shocked, the coach is shocked, everyone is shocked.