CALGARY, FEB. 16 -- Canadian cross country skiing coach Marty Hall was more than a bit skeptical about the Soviet Union's domination of the sport in the first two events of the Winter Olympics, intimating that blood doping might be the reason.

"It's the most logical thing," Hall told the Calgary Sun. "I'm going to get in trouble for this 'cause I'm a loudmouth on the international scene. They could be great, they have a hell of a program. . . . These guys have been good for a long, long time.

"But you have to wonder when you come to a championship like this that out of the nine {top} places you could have, they've only let two other guys in there."

The Soviets had four of the top five in the women's 10-kilometer race, and three of the top four in the men's 30 kilometer on Monday. They won golds in both events.

Blood doping involves injecting extra red blood cells into the body before an event, providing extra oxygen and increased energy. The procedure is illegal under IOC rules.

Asked about Hall's charges today, IOC spokesman Michele Verdier said, "There is no substance to the report made by the Canadian coach."

Vitaly Smirnov of the Soviet Union, a member of the executive board of the IOC, told Reuters: "Of course, we're upset by this. It's not fair to make such statements.

"Anyway, it's a very big mistake. All the athletes were checked for blood transfusions, including the medalists, and there were no marks found."

However, Verdier admitted there is no test that detects blood doping. "We believe in one or two years it will be able to be detected," she said.

"There's been a lot more drugging going on than people realize," Hall said. "How can you have something that's illegal when you don't have a test to test for it?" . . .

No one is saying why three Romanian speed skaters and their coach left the Olympic Village and returned home without competing. The team left Saturday, the day of the opening ceremonies, but Olympic officials did not learn of their departure until Monday. Skip the Relish, Too

Don't call coach Park Smalley or any of the members of the U.S. freestyle team "hot dog skiers."

"A hot dog is something you put mustard on," Smalley said. "We are freestyle skiers."

But Smalley knows that, as far as most laymen are concerned, when skiers do flips in the air or dance down a mountain, that's hot dogging.

"It started out as that, as the guy bored with making left and right turns," said Smalley. The sport got started in the late '60s "when you would pack up your van, take $25 and hope to get to the next event."

Freestyle skiing is a demonstration sport here and Smalley said "unless something drastic happens" it should be a medal sport in 1992 . . .

Italian downhiller Karla Delago was knocked out of the Olympics today when she strained ligaments in her right ankle and cut her right leg in a training run.

Team doctor Danilo Tagliabue said, "She is out for the entire Olympic program and probably the remaining World Cup races in March."

Delago was entered in Thursday's downhill, the women's combined and the super giant slalom.

The Italians also lost cross country skier Bice Vanzetta, who broke her ankle where her ski caught in some netting . . .

Erik Henriksen, the outspoken captain of the U.S. speed skating team, made another appeal to the U.S. Olympic Committee to change the final starting spot for Thursday's 1,000-meter race. Henriksen had an appeal rejected by a USOC panel last week.

Henriksen said he has presented evidence from a race showing that times used to determine the fourth spot were different than those reported at the earlier hearing.

The fourth and final spot, as selected by U.S. Coach Mike Crowe, went to Tom Cushman, who was sixth in the 1,000 at the U.S. Olympic trials in December.