CALGARY, FEB. 21 -- It was another day of wild, Chinook weather on the Canadian prairies today, punctuated by the elimination of the U.S. hockey team from Olympic medal contention, an upset in the ski mountains and the first banishment of an athlete for drug use.
As the XV Winter Olympics rumbled past their halfway point, West Germany toppled the struggling U.S. hockey squad, 4-1. The victory sent West Germany on to the six-team medal round with a 4-1 record and sent the 2-3 U.S. entry into a consolation game.
Under a complex goal-differential system, the Americans came into the game needing a victory by at least two goals to advance. But West Germany scored twice in the first period, then frustrated the U.S. skaters with a smothering defense and outstanding goaltending by Karl Friesen.
The Polish hockey team was told earlier in the day that its star performer, Jaroslaw Morawiecki, could not compete anymore and the team was stripped of one of its victories after Morawiecki tested positive for excess testosterone, a sign of steroid use.
It marked the first positive drug test in the nine days of the Olympics and ended the Poles' chances of advancing to the hockey medal round. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union's hockey team beat Czechoslovakia in the Saddledome, 6-1.
Outside, a hard, cold wind barreled in from the northwest overnight, heralding the expected sudden end of more than a week of unseasonably warm temperatures and immediately sparking controversy among bobsledders.
Two-man bobsledding was halted in progress at Canada Olympic Park because of blowing prairie sand. But Swiss Coach Erwin Brazerol protested that conditions were just as bad Saturday on the first day of competition, and maintained the whole event should be restarted from scratch.
"This is the most controversial bobsled event ever," said Brazerol. "It's just crazy."
"There was a hurricane on top," said British bobsledder Thomas de la Hunty. "You could see the sand filling the ruts and you just couldn't get the sled to run."
At least six nations also protested conditions: West Germany, the United States, the Soviet Union, Austria, Italy and New Zealand.
Saturday's competition "was unfair for most countries . . . that had bad draws," said U.S. team manager Gilbert Jones. "It was unfair conditions again today. We should start the whole thing over."
Sixty miles west on windblown Mount Allan, three highly regarded skiers failed to make it down the icy super giant slalom course and favorite Pirmin Zurbriggen had a bad run, clearing the way for Franck Piccard to claim the first French skiing gold since Jean-Claude Killy swept three events in 1968.
Zurbriggen, who some thought might win all five golds here, said the wind bothered him on his run, but that he couldn't have caught Piccard, anyway. It was the second straight no-medal result for Zurbriggen, who hooked a gate to fall out of the Alpine combined competition Wednesday after winning the gold in downhill Monday.
Piccard, who took the bronze in downhill last week, got some breathing room today when top competitors Alberto Tomba, Markus Wasmeier and Marc Girardelli were unable to complete the course. All had trouble with sharp turns and ice at the top. Austria's Helmut Mayer won the silver and Sweden's Lars-Boerje Eriksson took the bronze.
In the second and final day of the women's combined, also at Mount Allan, Austrian Anita Wachter won the gold and Swiss Brigitte Oertli and Maria Walliser took the silver and bronze, respectively.
The Soviet Union leads the medal standings with 16. The Soviets today took their fourth gold in five cross country ski races; they have six golds, five silvers and four bronzes. East Germany has six golds, and 10 overall. The United States has a gold, a silver and a bronze.
Speed skater Eric Flaim, who won the U.S. silver Saturday in the men's 1,500-meter race, was close again today, finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters. It was his third fourth-place finish of the Games.
Sweden's Tomas Gustafson took the gold in the 10,000 meters, his second of the Games, in a world record time of 13 minutes 48.20 seconds.
The weather was much on the minds of competitors and spectators at all the outdoor venues again as temperatures plunged from balmy, 62-degree highs Saturday to the mid-30s with bitter winds today.
Luge and Alpine combined events were postponed earlier this week, and ski jumping has been put off so many times because of the wind, speculation has arisen that the event could be moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario.