Truth about addictions hurt her skating focus, Docter says


Every day of sobriety is a victory for Mary Docter, but the U.S. speed skater says the attention given her fight against drug and alcohol addiction contributed to a losing effort yesterday.

Docter, who entered a rehabilitation center in March 1990, was hoping for a top 10 finish in the women's 3,000 meters. But she wound up a disappointing 15th.

"I wasn't concentrating on my race last night. I was thinking about how I was going to deal with the questions I get from the press," Docter said. "That's my own fault and that's why I really regret telling my story in the first place. I think I did a real disservice to myself and it's really affected my performance on ,, the ice."

Reports that she was stoned during the Calgary Olympics and did cocaine when she was skating were not true, Docter said.

"I feel disappointed that I didn't skate as well; on the other hand, I am sober so I feel good," she said. "And that's my primary goal."

Athlete-spies to come forward

The German Olympic bobsled and luge teams were required to reveal any past ties to the former East German secret police, a national sports official says, and a champion bobsledder has already admitted he was a spy.

European four-man bobsled champion Harald Czudaj has acknowledged he was a Stasi informer, but Klaus Kotter, president of the German bobsled and luge federation, said he urged German Olympic Committee officials not to remove Czudaj from the team.

"One must be prepared to forgive," he said. "You have to imagine what the system was like."

Czudaj was blackmailed into collaborating with the Stasi after police caught him driving drunk, an offense which normally would have ended his career, according to Germany's Bild tabloid newspaper.

Speed skater out of hospital

Speed skating world champion Johann-Olav Koss, who is favored to win three Olympic gold medals, was released from a hospital where he was being treated for an inflammation of the pancreas and is expected to race was leaving a German hospital with Norwegian team officials confident he would be fit to be ready to race Thursday in the 5,000 meters.

The quote

"I like it outside. I like to breathe the air. I like to see the mountains all around." U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, on the fact that the speed skating oval is outdoors.

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