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Absentee roll call

List of athletes not competing in Turin is impressive

Posted: Wednesday February 15, 2006 12:31PM; Updated: Wednesday February 15, 2006 2:28PM
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Former U.S. women's hockey captain Cammi Granato is working the Turin Games as a TV commentator.
Former U.S. women's hockey captain Cammi Granato is working the Turin Games as a TV commentator.
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TURIN, Italy -- Michelle Kwan isn't the only marquee name missing from the Turin Olympics. Here is a partial list of major names who are not competing in Italy:

CAMMI GRANATO, U.S. (ice hockey)

The captain of the U.S. women's hockey team for the past two Olympics, the 34-year-old Granato was cut from the squad in August by coach Ben Smith. But Granato is in Turin this week: She's working for NBC as a hockey commentator.

NATE ROBERTS, U.S. (moguls)

With former world champions Jeremy Bloom and Toby Dawson on the U.S. moguls team, Roberts, the defending world champ who struggled at times during the World Cup season, was the odd man out.

NOELLE PIKUS-PACE, U.S. (skeleton)

The overall World Cup champion sustained a frightening injury during training in Calgary when a bobsled crashed into her leg while she was still in the track. Pikus-Pace returned to competition despite a compound fracture in her leg, but she missed too many World Cup events to accumulate the points necessary to qualify for the team.

SHAUN PALMER, U.S. (snowboardcross)

After a six-year hiatus, Palmer, a legend of the action-sports world, bounced back and put himself in position to make the Olympic team at age 38. But his dream ended last month in Italy when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon.

ZACH LUND, U.S. (skeleton)

In a propitious decision, Lund was banned from the Games after testing positive for Propecia, a hair-replacement formula that showed up in a doping test in November as a masking agent for steroids. A three-member panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport found that Lund, 26, was not deliberately cheating. Nevertheless, the panel upheld his ban.

ALEX TEICHMANN, Germany (cross-country skiing)

Speaking of hair, Teichmann, the 2003 World Champ in the 15 kilometers, suffered an inflamed follicle on his right thigh and dropped out of the Games days before the start of the competition. Tecihmann's absence will also hurt Germany's hopes in the relay.

MAO ASADA, YUKARI NAKANO, YOSHI ONDA, Japan (figure skating)

Meet the best "B" team on the face of the Earth. Start with Asada, the Japanese national and Grand Prix champion, who is too young to compete because she didn't turn 15 in time for ISU's cutoff date. She has two triple axels in her program, but you'll have to wait until the 2010 Vancouver Games to see them on the Olympic stage. Nakano won the NHK Trophy this season and finished third in the Grand Prix final, but she didn't make the team either. Onda, perhaps the only skater around with a comparable long program, actually beat Asada in the free skate at the Japanese Nationals this winter but was left off as well. Japan will still field a strong "A" team of Fumie Suguri, a two-time world medalist, Miki Ando, who can land a quadruple Salchow, and Shizuka Arakawa, the '04 world champion.

JOCHEM UYTDEHAAGE & GERARD VAN VELDE, Netherlands (speedskating)

Both skaters failed to qualify for the team at the Dutch trials earlier this winter. Uytdehaage won gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 and a silver in the 1,500 in Salt Lake City. Van Velde won the 1,000 meters four years ago, but his performances have been poor, and the word is that the Dutch coaches want him to retire.

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