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Monday, March 11, 2013
Russian slider has illegal sled

Associated Press

A Russian skeleton athlete has lost all the World Cup points she earned this season, and international officials are seeing if more penalties are merited after tests showed her sled was illegally manipulated.

The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said Monday that Maria Orlova's sled runners had been hardened, which is not permitted.

Orlova finished 13th in this season's World Cup standings. The penalties come at an awkward time for the Russians, who will host next year's Sochi Olympics, and typically one positive test for illegal runners puts other team sleds under additional scrutiny.

In skeleton, all teams use the same type of steel for their runners, and the FIBT monitors that steel closely, making sure each sled has the same stamp. The stamp on Orlova's sled also was doctored.