Muehlegg's B Sample Also Tests Positive

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Madrid, Spain (AP Ciaran Giles)--Johann Muehlegg, the cross-country skier stripped of a gold medal for doping, learned Tuesday that the "B'' sample of his urine test had also proved positive.

The result was released by the International Olympic Committee's medical commission and provided to Spain's state secretary for sport, Juan Antonio Gomez Angulo.

The German-born skier was stripped of his 50-kilometer gold medal Sunday _ his third gold of the Salt Lake City Olympics _ after testing positive for darbepoetin, which boosts production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

``It's no surprise because, in reality, it's not a counteranalysis but rather the same analysis from Feb. 21 done in the same laboratory by the same doctor and with the same system,'' Gomez Angulo told the Spanish national news agency Efe.

Muehlegg, 31, faces a possible two-year suspension.

``I haven't taken any drugs. I don't know where all this is coming from,'' he was quoted as saying in Tuesday's editions of El Pais. ``I've only been eating well and taking vitamins and minerals in order to recuperate from training to be able to be strong. That's all.''

He had been scheduled to receive a hero's welcome home this week, but the reception with Spain's King Juan Carlos was called off Monday by the royal palace.

Muehlegg gets to keep his first two gold medals for the 10-kilometer and 30-kilometer freestyle events, Spain's first cross-country skiing golds since 1972.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press