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 Ulf Samuelsson profile from the NHL site.
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Panel Rejects Samuelsson's Appeal

From News Services
Wednesday, February 18, 1998; Page C6

 ulf samuelsson
 Ulf Samuelsson declined comment on a decision that expels him from the Games.
(Blake Sell/Reuters)
Ulf Samuelsson became the first hockey player expelled from the 1998 Winter Olympics when the Court for the Arbitration of Sport rejected Sweden's appeal.

Samuelsson's eligibility was rescinded by the International Ice Hockey Federation after it learned he had passports from both the United States and Sweden. Under Swedish law, a person surrenders his citizenship when he becomes the citizen of another country.

However, the CAS also rejected the Czech Republic's bid to have Sweden's two round-robin victories taken away.

"He's a very physical player. He raises his level of play in big games. He likes to play against opponents' best lines," Swedish assistant coach Barry Smith said. "Can somebody else take that role? We'll never replace him."

As tough as it is for the defending gold medalists to lose Samuelsson, the most penalized European player in NHL history, it could have been worse.

Had the panel sided with the Czechs, Sweden would have had to play undefeated Russia today. The Czechs were hoping to have Sweden drop in the standings because they would have gotten to play winless Belarus instead of the United States.

"Unlike the world championships, where forfeiture applies, at the Games this sanction would negatively affect a number of innocent teams-a consequence not intended under the rules," the arbitration panel said.

Rickard Fagerlund, president of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, said Samuelsson sought American citizenship so he didn't have to keep applying each year for a U.S. work permit.

"Of course I'm disappointed," Fagerlund said. "We didn't know about the dual citizenship and for sure Ulf Samuelsson didn't know about the consequences."

Samuelsson, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win two Stanley Cups before getting traded to the New York Rangers in 1995, declined to comment.

Rebagliati Meets Leno
Endorsement offers. An appearance on "The Tonight Show." A homecoming party on cable TV. For Olympic gold medalist Ross Rebagliati, a little notoriety is going a long way.

Rebagliati won the first gold medal ever awarded in snowboarding, but the International Olympic Committee voted to take it away after he tested positive for marijuana. An appeals panel overturned that decision.

He returned Monday to Canada to a warm embrace from his mother and greetings from about 100 supporters who shook his hand and asked for autographs.

"I'm ecstatic-moms have to be ecstatic," said Rebagliati's mother, Linda Partone, who interrupted a cruise to meet her son. "We know that Ross didn't do anything wrong."

Rebagliati admitted smoking marijuana as recently as last April, but said the pot in his system came from secondhand smoke inhaled during a pre-Olympic sendoff.

On "The Tonight Show," after Rebagliati explained how he inhaled the smoke, host Jay Leno said, "So unlike [President] Clinton, you inhaled, but didn't smoke. He smoked, but did not inhale. ... I admire your honesty."

Say It With Flowers
When the German women swept the medals in the combined event at Alpine skiing, gold medalist Katja Seizinger and silver medalist Martina Ertl jumped from the victory stand and ran toward the crowd to throw their bouquets of flowers to the spectators.

Bronze medalist Hilde Gerg headed up the hill to where hundreds of gray-clad Olympic volunteers had gathered.

The volunteers had worked through horrible weather in the two weeks of Alpine skiing in Hakuba, and Gerg wanted to acknowledge their efforts. She threw her bouquet to them.

"Martina and Katja were going to the spectators, so I said, 'Okay, I'll go to the staff," Gerg said. "I think it was a good moment to say thank you."

Stepping Aside
The head coach of Norway's powerful Nordic ski team, Erik Roeste, is planning to step down.

According to the Norwegian news agency NTB, Roeste has decided to accept a job with adidas in Norway.

Roeste, 37, took the coaching job after the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, where Norway's cross-country skiers took eight medals, three of them gold.

He managed to keep the Norwegians on top, with a series of World Cup victories and a strong showing at Nagano.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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