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Alpine Skiing Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 15:25 GMT
Bell stunned at Baxter news
Former British skier Graham Bell is confident that Olympic bronze medallist Alain Baxter did not knowingly take a banned substance.
Bell heard the news about Baxter at the weekend
Former British skier Graham Bell is confident that Olympic bronze medallist Alain Baxter did not knowingly take a banned substance.

The performance director for the British Ski and Snowboard Federation told BBC Sport Online that he spoke to Baxter at the weekend after hearing the news from the British Olympic Association.

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Inquiry Commission found slalom medallist Baxter had produced a positive sample for the prohibited substance methamphetamine.

I'm confident that he wasn't cheating - very confident

Graham Bell
The Commission subsequently told the BOA, who released the information on its website.

"Alain was told the news on Friday and he is naturally devastated," said Bell.

"The drug methamphetamine is a stimulant and it would help you on the day, maybe improve your performance on the day.

"It's not a steroid or any of the doping drugs that generally get tested for.

"The whole situation has been difficult for everybody. Because Alain's event was one of the last of the Olympics, there has been a bit of a wait to find out the results of the drug tests.

"As far as I know there will be a hearing and it'll probably be sometime next week.

"I'm confident that he wasn't cheating. Very confident."

BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"Baxter says he is totally innocent"
British Skiing Federation's Graham Bell
"I am convinced he's not a cheat"
UK Sports Council's Michelle Verroken
"It's always disappointing when tests are positive"
Alain Baxter loses his bronze medal for failing a drug test

See also:

05 Mar 02 | Alpine Skiing
British skier fails drugs test
27 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Olympic star Baxter breezes in
23 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Team GB hails Baxter
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