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WRAPUP 2-Olympics-Vonn comeback on ice as doping rears its head
* Injured skier says may race through pain
* Russian reprimanded in Games' first case of doping
* Leaks give peak into Friday's opening ceremony
By Mary Milliken
VANCOUVER, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Injured American skier Lindsey Vonn might get her groove back in time for the Winter Games after the downhill favourite told Facebook friends on Thursday she could possibly race through the pain.
Just a day before the Olympics open, fog and snow kept skiing's leading lady from schussing down Franz's downhill course in Whistler in her first training run -- a delay that conveniently gave her more time for her painful shin to heal.
Down the mountain in Vancouver, another female athlete garnered unwanted attention. Russian ice hockey player Svetlana Terenteva became the first athlete to test positive for a banned substance at these Games, but will be allowed to stay.
As pre-Games drama and fog swirled, some 5,000 athletes and officials were set to descend on Vancouver for Friday's opening ceremony, the first indoor curtainraiser at a Winter Olympics.
The stadium spectacle will be a welcome novelty as rain pours on Vancouver and melts Wednesday's long-awaited snowfall on Cypress Mountain, the nearby snow-challenged freestyle skiing and snowboard venue.
Up on Whistler, the day after Vonn dropped the bomb of her shin injury and the possibility that she may not compete, the 25-year-old took painkillers, donned skis and got in a warm-up run that made her smile.
"The pain level had gone down from a sharp debilitating pain to comething that I feel I may be able to grit my teeth through," she said on Facebook.
'VONN-COUVER' GAMES ON?
Only two downhill women contenders hit the course before the training was scrapped. The second, American Stacey Cook, suffered a heavy crash into the safety fence and had to be taken by helicopter to a hospital.
Ironically, poor conditions could pay off for Vonn -- and the success of the so-called "Vonn-couver" Games that have so much staked on the golden girl of skiing.
"Generally I am disappointed when a training run is cancelled, but in this situation, I definitely welcome the extra day to heal," Vonn said.
While the women skiers' training was scrapped, the men managed to complete their downhill training on a nearby course, keeping their Saturday downhill race on schedule.
Saturday is also the first day of moguls competition on Cypress, where organisers staged a massive snow lift to build the courses there after the warmest January on record.
In the final hours before the Games open, the International Olympic Committee raised the first flag on doping in a case involving Terenteva's use of a light stimulant contained in an over-the-counter nose spray.
Because she took the substance before the Olympic period, the hockey player escaped a ban that would have sent her packing to Russia.
The IOC said the prohibited substance would not have affected her performance because it would have been completely out of her system before her team's first game on Monday.
TORCH ENDS 106-DAY TREK
Apart from doubts over Vonn, weather and doping, organisers say everything is set for a successful Olympics -- "the most ambitious sporting event ever held on Canadian soil," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.
On the final day of a 106-day, 45,000-kilometre trek across Canada, the Olympic torch will be carried through Vancouver on Friday by notable athletes like California Governor and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It is a much-guarded secret who Canada will choose to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday night, with speculation ranging from hockey great Wayne Gretzky to an anonymous aboriginal athlete.
As for the rest of the opening ceremony, organisers are struggling to keep a lid on normally secretive preparations.
Despite confidentiality agreements, the digital diversions of those attending the dress rehearsals have led to leaks of the ceremony via iPhones and social network sites like Twitter.
(Editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story firstname.lastname@example.org)
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