Finnish cross-country skier Kaisa Varis has been banned from the Nordic Skiing world championships in Italy after failing a blood test.
In an International Ski Federation test, her blood hemoglobin or red blood count slightly exceeded the permitted level. That means Varis is banned from competition for five days.
She had been considered a strong contender for a medal in the women's 15K race. Three other Finns will take part in the competition on Tuesday.
Finnish ski officials blamed the test result on the skier's use of a high altitude simulator.
Two years ago, Varis won a bronze medal in the 15K event in the world championships in Lahti, Finland -- the games where several other members of the host team tested positive for doping.
YLE24, Finnish News Agency