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Friday, 22 March, 2002, 08:31 GMT

Schwaiger calls for change

Alain Baxter's coach has called on the International Olympic Committee to review its drug-testing procedures.

Baxter was stripped of the slalom bronze medal he won in Salt Lake City last month after testing positive for methamphetamine.

The Scottish skier was found to have traces of the non-performance-enhancing 'L' side of the banned substance in his system.

But the IOC test did not differentiate it from the more potent 'D' side, a stimulant more commonly known as speed.

Baxter claims he took the substance innocently by using an American Vicks inhaler for a blocked nose.

In Britain, the product does not contain the banned substance.

His coach Christian Schwaiger told BBC Radio Five Live: "I think they are consider different levels for other substances in their testing.

Responsibility

"But with methamphetamine they didn't do it and so they must consider it.

"They look almost the same. He didn't know anything about the difference between them.

"It is his responsibility but it is very easy to charge someone. The question is what the banned substance in the Vicks inhaler is.

"Experts have told us that it is a different type of methamphetamine. It is nothing to do with the drugs on the street."

Baxter became the first Briton to win an alpine Olympic medal. but he was informed soon after his return to home that he had tested positive.

He now faces a battle to clear his name and is considering lodging an appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) will now consider whether to ban Baxter from competition.

But Austrian Schwaiger added: "I hope he will not be banned by the International Skiing Federation (FIS) so he can keep skiing.

"He has put in a lot of hard work for five years to attain this huge goal but now they have taken the medal away."


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