Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Games face new doping case as Canadian skaters serve up magic




Games face new doping case as Canadian skaters serve up magic

Slovenian ice hockey player Ziga Jeglic failed a drugs test and has been suspended, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said yesterday, becoming the third doping case at the Pyeongchang Olympics. AFP
Slovenian ice hockey player Ziga Jeglic failed a drugs test and has been suspended, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said yesterday, becoming the third doping case at the Pyeongchang Olympics. AFP

Games face new doping case as Canadian skaters serve up magic

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was hit by a third doping scandal today, casting a shadow over the magic on ice served up by peerless Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

On a day when the first unified Korean Olympic team took an emotional bow, the Games suffered a new doping blow with the suspension of Slovenian ice hockey player Ziga Jeglic.

A day earlier, a Russian bronze medallist in curling was suspended over suspected doping and a Japanese short-track speed skater was kicked out of the Games in South Korea last week.

Jeglic, 29, who plays professional ice hockey in Russia, tested positive for fenoterol, a banned substance used to treat breathing difficulties, and was given 24 hours to quit the Olympic Village.

The latest drugs scandal hit just after one of the high points of the Games – the gold-medal-winning performance of Virtue and Moir to clinch victory in the ice dance.

They skated last after watching French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron break their own free dance record and top the standings with the best combined total of their careers.

The pressure was unbearable, but Virtue and Moir showed no signs of buckling, skating out a flawless routine to Roxanne from Moulin Rouge in what may well be their last hurrah on the world stage.

“Amazing. It was a special moment to come out last,” Virtue said. “It was a strong last group, there was a lot of pressure, but I’m so happy with how we performed.”

The 2010 Olympic gold medallists scored a record combined total of 206.07 points, narrowly bettering the French duo’s 205.28.

Papadakis suffered embarrassment during Monday’s routine when her dress slipped open but she and Cizeron were still on course for gold – until the Canadians delivered something special to become the most decorated Olympic skaters of all time.

‘Incredible feeling’

Away from the elegance of the skating rink, another Canadian, Cassie Sharpe, produced some jaw-dropping aerobatics to storm to freestyle skiing’s halfpipe gold.

French rival Marie Martinod wiped out on her final run and finished second after Sharpe produced a top score of 95.80 on her second effort, celebrated by raising her hands behind her head in a bunny-ear sign as she crossed the line backwards.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it’s just an incredible feeling,” said the 25-year-old gold medallist.

There were tears and cheers as the unified Korean women’s hockey team exited the Olympics with a 6-1 defeat to Sweden in their final game.

The team was hastily assembled following a landmark deal between South and North Korea only a few weeks before the Pyeongchang Games, and has 12 North Koreans on its roster.

The squad had little success, shipping 28 goals and scoring just twice in their five defeats.

But they proved a crowd favourite and came to stand as a symbol of the abrupt reconciliation between North and South Korea that occurred in the run-up to the Games, leading the North to send a delegation of more than 500 to Pyeongchang, including more than 200 cheerleaders and 22 competitors.

None of the athletes from the North have met with medal success at the Games, but their participation – boosted by the all-singing North Korean cheer squad – has created goodwill among many South Koreans.

A couple of hugely successful days for Canada saw them sitting third in the overall medals table with eight golds.

Norway lead Germany, with 11 golds each, but the Norwegians have a greater overall medal haul.

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,