CRMS grad cleared to compete after suspension
After serving a five-day suspension for an abnormally high red blood cell count, Colorado Rocky Mountain School graduate Robel Teklemariam has been cleared to race in the Winter Olympics, the International Ski Federation said Wednesday.
According to Reuters news service, Teklemariam was tested shortly after arriving in Italy and was given a five-day suspension after showing elevated signs of hemoglobin. Teklemariam, Ethiopia’s first Winter Olympics competitor, was one of 12 cross-country skiers to be suspended for elevated levels of hemoglobin. Teklemariam and Canada’s Sean Crooks were retested and cleared to compete, according to Reuters.
There are a number of reasons as to why the 12 athletes didn’t pass their tests. Elevated hemoglobin can be caused by dehydration or by adjusting to high altitude. It can also be because of blood doping with synthetic hemoglobin or infusion to increase the oxygen in the muscles.
Reasons why Teklemariam had elevated levels were not given but the second test cleared him to compete.
While serving his suspension, Teklemariam missed Sunday’s cross-country skiing men’s 30-kilometer pursuit.
Now that he is cleared, Teklemariam will compete in his first event today as he races in the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing classic. Teklemariam is also slated to compete in Wednesday’s cross-county skiing men’s sprint and in the cross-country skiing men’s 50-kilometer free on Feb. 26.
Teklemariam graduated from Carbondale’s Colorado Rocky Mountain School before attending the University of New Hampshire.
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