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    Monday, December 22, 1997

    Fedotkina to be banned for life

     BERLIN (AP) -- Russian speed skater Svetlana Fedotkina, an Olympic silver medallist, will be banned for life after refusing to submit to a doping test, the vice-president of the International Skating Union said Monday.
     Fedotkina tested positive for anabolic steroids nearly two years ago and was suspended until Jan. 6, 1998.
     In November, she refused to submit to a test while training in Calgary, saying she was on a private visit.
     "We consider it a repeat offence," said Gerd Zimmermann, vice-president of the International Skating Union. "A lifelong ban follows, there is no doubt in this case."
     Zimmermann said the Russian federation was told Thursday about Fedotkina's ban and now had two weeks to appeal.
     "But I can't imagine what could change the circumstances," he said.
     Fedotkina is the Olympic 1,500 silver medallist.