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Olympic notebook: Norway's Northug victorious

Norway's Petter Northug won his fourth medal of the Olympics, using his trademark sprint to overtake Germany's Axel Teichmann on the final straightaway yesterday and capture the 50-kilometer classical cross-country race.

Northug won his second gold medal in Vancouver. He had anchored Norway to victory in the team sprint - also pushing past Teichmann near the end - and won a bronze medal in the individual sprint and silver in the relay.

After struggling in the previous individual distance races in Vancouver, everything came together for Northug in the sport's premier event.

"To be the Olympic champion in the 50K is the biggest boyhood dream of my life," Northug said. "I didn't think I was among the favorites. I've been tired, and there has been something missing in these championships."

Skating's judging gets '10'

Judging of the figure skating competitions at the Vancouver Olympics was "absolutely impeccable," International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said.

Evgeni Plushenko has complained bitterly about the results of the men's competition, where the Russian finished second to American Evan Lysacek despite being the only top contender to land a clean quadruple jump. But there is nothing to criticize, Rogge said. "The IOC has discussed this with the International Skating Union, the judging has been absolutely impeccable, there is nothing to criticize the judges," Rogge said. "They have applied the system that has been approved."

Doping violation for Slovak

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was reprimanded for a minor doping violation while playing for Slovakia. The IOC said he tested positive for the stimulant pseudoephedrine contained in an over-the-counter cold medication. The IOC said Visnovsky declared on his doping control form that he was taking the medication, that he didn't know it was prohibited and was not trying to improve his performance.

U.S. luger lends support

An American luger is raising money for the family of a fallen competitor by auctioning the speed suit he wore during the Olympics. Tony Benshoof and the nine other members of the U.S. luge team will sign the suit. Proceeds will go to the family of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian athlete killed in a Feb. 12 training run on the track at Whistler. Said Benshoof, who finished eighth in men's singles: "It's the least I can do." - AP

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