Tallinn, Estonia Jan. 23, 2002 (AP)--Cross-country ski star Kristina Smigun, Estonia's best Olympic medal hope, has tested positive in an initial doping test, the Baltic News Service reported Wednesday.
Smigun, 24, finished the 1999-2000 World Cup season a close second to Norway's Bente Skari and is a national hero in this Baltic Sea coast nation of 1.4 million people that regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The news agency said that the International Ski Federation (FIS) informed the Estonian Ski Association that Smigun tested positive on Dec. 12, after a race in Brusson, Italy.
Jaanus Pulles, an official at the national ski association, told the BNS that Smigun emphatically denied ever using banned substances.
Smigun has asked for the results of a ``B'' sample to clear her of any suspicion.
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