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Has snowboarding gone to pot?

A former University of Utah ski racer turned Olympic snowboarder said marijuana shouldn't be associated with the sport just because a gold medalist at the 1998 Games here tested positive for the drug.

"Maybe I'm the goody-two-shoes on the tour but I don't see it (marijuana use by snowboarders)," Sondra Van Ert told the Deseret News Wednesday in a telephone interview.The 33-year-old called "Grandma" by her teammates was surprised to hear that earlier in the day, Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for traces marijuana. Rebagliati, winner of the men's snowboarding grand slalom, had his medal restored restored Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS ruled unanimously in favor of an appeal filed by the Canadian Olympic Association, saying that Rebagliati's ouster was improper because the International Ski Federation and the International Olympic Committee lacked a legal agreement regarding the use of marijuana.

Rebagliati, 26, told the Canadian Olympic Committee the last time he used marijuana was April 1997, but he has spent "a significant amount of time" around pot smokers, including at a farewell party before coming to Nagano.

Despite the restoration of Rebaglati's medal, the controversy could hurt snowboarding, a sport that's already seen as pretty wild. Olympic officials decided to add it to the 1998 Winter Games program in part to help attract a younger audience.

"It's got me concerned," Van Ert said from the AT&T hospitality suite, where she was having dinner with her family. "It might become an overpowering image. I was just loving seeing snowboarders here . . . they're great athletes."

Van Ert, who finished 12th on Tuesday in the women's giant slalom race, said even though snowboarders surround themselves in "a slightly looser atmosphere," they're no different from any other athletes.