Athlete Loses Medal After Drug Test : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Wednesday September 20 8:35 AM ET

Athlete Loses Medal After Drug Test



SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - In the first drug busts of the Sydney Games, a former Olympic weightlifting champion from Bulgaria was stripped of his silver medal and a hammer thrower from Belarus was kicked out.

There have been a series of doping suspensions and withdrawals prior to the Olympics but Wednesday's expulsions were the first drug positives recorded during the games themselves.

The International Olympic Committee said Ivan Ivanov tested positive for furosemide, a weight-reducing diuretic, after winning the silver medal in the 56-kilogram (123-pound) weightlifting class.

Ivanov, a gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Games and a former four-time world champion, kissed his barbell after clinching second place Saturday in the first full day of competition.

He was ordered to give back the medal and expelled from the games.

With Ivanov's disqualification, the placings were revised. The original third-place finisher, Wu Wenxiong of China, moved up to take the silver, while China's Zhang Xiangxiang was elevated from fourth place to the bronze.

The IOC said it was considering arranging a new medal ceremony.

The other banned athlete was Vadim Devyatovsky, a hammer thrower from Belarus, who tested positive for components of the banned steroid nandrolone in an out-of-competition control Sept. 12 in the athletes' village. His sample was 20 times above the permitted threshold, the IOC said.

Diuretics are used to flush fluid from an athlete's body to reduce weight, but also can be used to mask the presence of other performance-enhancing drugs. Nandrolone builds muscle and helps athletes recover faster in training.

Ivanov and Devyatovsky were the first athletes banned by the IOC as a result of tests conducted during the games. Eleven others had been banned by their federations as a result of pre-games tests.

The two positives so far match the entire total from the 1996 Atlanta Games. The highest number of positives at any one Olympics was 12 at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Wednesday's expulsions were ordered on the basis of positive results of the ``A'' samples. In the past, no sanctions were taken until after the backup ``B'' sample was tested.

Devyatovksi had his ``B'' sample tested and it also turned up positive, the IOC said. Ivanov's ``B'' sample also was being analyzed.

IOC director general Francois Carrard said Ivanov had already left the Olympic village. Devyatosvsky had been scheduled to start competing Saturday.

Ivanov, 29, was the Olympic champion at 1141/2 pounds in 1992 in Barcelona. He won gold at the world championships in 1989, '90, '91 and '93.

IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said Ivanov is suspected of using the diuretic for making the weight, rather than masking drugs.

The vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation, Sam Coffa, called Ivanov ``an idiot'' for using the banned substance and said he had disgraced his sport.

``He must have been smelling salts or got too much chalk in his brain,'' Coffa said.

It's not the first time Bulgarian weightlifters have had Olympic medals taken away for drug use. Mitko Grubler and Angel Guenchev were stripped of gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics - the same games where Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson lost his gold in the 100 meters.

Weightlifting has been plagued by drug scandals before and during the Sydney Olympics, with lifters from Taiwan, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Norway suspended over pre-games, out-of-competition tests.

The international federation kicked out the seven-member Romanian team Sunday because three lifters - including two on the Olympic team - had failed drug tests this year.

But the federation lifted the ban on the five ``clean'' lifters the next day after the Romanian Olympic Committee agreed to pay a $50,000 fine.

Devyatovsky, 23, finished second in the hammer at the junior world championships in 1996. This season, he has improved his performance from 251 feet-101/2 inches to 266-11.

The IOC said Devyatovsky tested positive for Norandrosterone and Norethiocholanolone - precursors of nandrolone.

The IOC said, as of Wednesday, it has conducted 506 in-competition tests, more than 300 out-of-competition urine tests and 199 combined urine-blood controls for the endurance-booster EPO.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 20, 2000


Another, quite bizarre, story is unfolding about a French runner who said a man appeared at her hotel room door to tell her he was going to kill her. Apparently she was able to close the door before he could enter her room, but now she is withdrawing from competition and leaving Sydney, ostensibly because of fear. Something to "hmm" about!

-- viewer (, September 20, 2000.

Shame on you, Pieter.

-- (, September 20, 2000.

Here's the story. . .

Wednesday September 20 10:52 PM ET

French Track Star Perec Pulls Out of Olympics


By Patrick Vignal

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Triple Olympic champion Marie-Jose Perec has pulled out of the Sydney Games after saying she was harassed at her hotel.

The Frenchwoman's sponsor said Perec had decided to leave Sydney late on Wednesday after a man had forced himself into his room and threatened her.

Reebok said on Thursday she had left Australia and would not take part in the Olympics athletics competition starting on Friday.

``Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon she was harassed in her hotel room,'' Reebok said in a statement.

``An unidentified individual forced his way into her room and threatened her.

``Because of this unfortunate incident she has decided to withdraw from Saturday's competition,'' read the statement, referring to the day Perec's first 400 meters heat was scheduled.

The hotel on Sydney's Darling Harbour where she had been staying said they had received no report of any security breach.

Airport sources said Perec had left Australia early on Thursday on a flight to London.

In Tears

Perec, 32, won an unprecedented 200-400 meters double four years ago in Atlanta and the 400 meters title in 1992 in Barcelona. She was expected to be Australian Cathy Freeman's main rival over one lap in Sydney.

Her agent Annick Avierinos said earlier in Paris the French athlete, who was in tears when she had called her to report the hotel incident, had left Sydney late on Wednesday for an unknown destination.

Avierinos said a man had knocked on the door of Perec's room pretending to bring a parcel and had threatened her.

``He told her he would find her wherever she went and there was no point calling the police because there was little they could do to protect her,'' she told Reuters.

Perec was able to push the man back by closing the door, her agent added.

``She is a strong person but she was in tears and clearly alarmed when she called me,'' said Avierinos, adding Perec had been insulted and threatened several times since she arrived in Australia.

``Once a man told her she might get run over,'' she said. ''This is not the first time something like this has happened. She just can't take any more of it.''

Mystery Woman

The fiercely independent Perec, who has always had a difficult relationship with athletics officials and the media, had been under a great deal of pressure ahead of her expected showdown with Australia's darling, the Aboriginal Freeman.

Australian newspapers have branded her a petulant prima donna in contrast to the likeable Freeman, even more of a national icon since she lit the Olympic flame.

The mystery woman of the Sydney Games, Perec lived up to her elusive reputation by shunning the French athletics team's official news conference on Tuesday.

The elegant runner from Guadeloupe has also irritated French officials by declining to join their team training camp in the Sydney suburb of Narrabeen, training instead at a secret location with her German coach, Wolfgang Meier.

Plagued by injury and sickness since Atlanta, Perec has entered only two races this year.

She took a gamble earlier this year by leaving the stable of American guru John Smith to join Meier, the husband and former coach of former East German sprinter Marita Koch who still holds the 400 meters world record.

Perec's last race was in Nice in July, when she was third in 50.32 seconds in her first one-lap event in four years. She won gold in Atlanta in 48.25, while Koch's record, set in 1985, stands at 47.60.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 20, 2000.

Perec has a reputation for being pretty strange.

On another Olympic topic, NBC is really taking a bath. Viewing is way down. I myself haven't watched it yet and probably won't. That time delay is a killer.

-- Peter Errington (, September 21, 2000.

Yup, there's a thread about that here.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 21, 2000.

Hmm, good article. About Canadian TV, anyone who would watch a sports event live in the middle of the night is more of a sports fan than I'll ever be.

-- Peter Errington (, September 22, 2000.

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