Lutai will miss Vancouver Games

MOSCOW -- Andrei Lutai, a Russian figure
skater who was arrested on suspicion of stealing a car and driving drunk
in the United States last week, was handed a one-year ban by the country's skating governing body
that will keep him out of the Winter Olympics.

"For violating ethical norms of an athlete, the executive
board excluded Andrei Lutai from the national team for a period
of one year until Nov. 15, 2010," Russia's Figure Skating
Federation (RFSF) said in a statement Wednesday.

Lutai, who finished ninth in
this year's world championships in Los Angeles, spent several
days in prison after allegedly stealing a
car at a service station in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he was competing in Skate America.

He was then released and sent home.

Lake Placid police charged Lutai, 23, with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.