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Former Olympic Ice Dancing Gold Medalist Slipped Date Rape Drug

Former Olympic ice dancer Pasha Grishuk was drugged with the so-called date-rape drug GHB during a business meeting at a Southern California resort hotel but she was able to seek help after spotting a pill in her drink, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

Grishuk, who won two Olympic gold medals for Russia in the 1990s, was at the St. Regis Monarch Beach on April 12 when she began to feel ill and numb, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

Grishuk was at a meeting with at least one man and first had a drink in a lounge while waiting for a table, Amormino said. They later moved to a table, and when Grishuk began feeling ill she noticed the dissolving pill at the bottom of her red wine, he said.

She pulled the pill out, and an ambulance and sheriff's deputies were called, he said. Investigating detectives found a similar dissolved pill in her first drink, Amormino said.
The skater was taken to a hospital by ambulance and later released.

Amormino said Grishuk described the dinner as a business meeting and indicated she knew the man or men she met with, although Amormino did not know how well. He did not know what kind of business they were discussing.

Grishuk never left her drinks unattended and it was unclear how the GHB got in them or who put it there, Amormino said.

"She never left her drink, never left her table," he said.

He declined to release the identity of her dinner companion or companions. He cited the continuing investigation in declining to specify how many people were present.

Toxicology test results that came back Tuesday were positive for GHB. Amormino said detectives have questioned the person or people Grishuk ate with, but said they were not currently considered suspects or persons of interest.

"How somebody was able to do that, I honestly don't know, but it appears that somebody, for whatever reason, attempted to drug her," he said.

GHB, or gamma hydroxy butyrate, can cause breathing problems, loss of consciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration labels GHB a "predatory drug" that can be mixed with alcohol to reduce resistance from a victim before a sexual assault. It is also popular with teenagers at raves and is sometimes used by bodybuilders for its anabolic effects, the DEA said.
Grishuk, 36, won gold medals in ice dancing in 1994 and 1998.

In 1999, Grishuk split with her dancing partner Yevgeny Platov, dropped her agent and joined Alexander Zhulin for a "Pasha and Sasha" duo on the ice. Her Web site says the nativeUkrainian is now a solo dancer and lives in Los Angeles, but Amormino said she gave investigators an address in Aliso Viejo, in southern Orange County.

An e-mail to Grishuk was not immediately returned.