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Americans complain about lack of access to training in 2010 facilities

A New York Times story today quoted American athletes who complain Canadians are "playing nasty" by giving little training access to 2010 Olympic venues.

Speedskater Catherine Raney, who had trained for years in Canada, says she was told after the 2006 Olympics that "the Canadians did not want foreign athletes training with them leading to the 2010 Games in Vancouver."

"They're playing nasty," said Raney, now living and training in Utah. "I think every one of us would to prove to them that what they did wasn't right, and we're ready to show it on the ice."

The report quotes a VANOC spokesperson:

"By virtue of being at home, you have more access to venues," Cathy Priestner Allinger, the executive vice president for sports of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, said in her office this summer.

"That's the nature of it. There's no country or organizing committee that would tell you otherwise, or that wouldn't try to take advantage of some of that."

The story goes on to say that a "decades-old open-access agreement between the luge teams of the United States and Canada has come undone. It also mentions that foreign speedskaters were barred last winter from the Richmond Olympic Oval, while foreign could only watch Canadians training on the Whistler downhill course.

As of Monday afternoon, the VANOC website had nothing about the report.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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