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THE SEOUL GAMES / DAY 13 : Notes : Hungarian Weightlifter Fails Drug Test; Team Is Pulled Out of Games

September 29, 1988|From Staff and Wire Reports

SEOUL — A third weightlifting medal winner, Hungarian Andor Szanyi, was disqualified by the International Olympic Committee Thursday after his drug test proved positive for an anabolic steroid.

Szanyi, who won the silver medal in the 220-pound class, was discovered to have used stanozolol, the same drug that caused the disqualification Tuesday of Canadian 100-meter champion Ben Johnson.

An IOC spokesperson, Michelle Verdier, said that approximately 3,000 athletes had been tested through Tuesday's competition. Eight have produced positive urine samples, including four medalists. Two gold-medalist weightlifters from Bulgaria were disqualified last week.

Following Bulgaria's lead, Hungarian officials announced that they are withdrawing their weightlifting team, a symbolic gesture because Hungary had no other weightlifters scheduled to compete before the end of the Games.

Verdier said that drug rumors concerning other athletes are unfounded.

Rich Schutz's goal of winning a medal in weightlifting took a tragic turn on his second day in Seoul. He learned that his mother had died of leukemia.

He caught the first flight home and attended her funeral. For a lesser competitor, the Olympic quest might end. Not for Schutz. This week he was back under the bright lights, competing and trying to keep the sadness and loss out of his mind.

"It's been a real roller-coaster ride," said the quiet, 23-year-old health club instructor. "The Olympics are the best thing that's ever happened to me. My mother's death was the worst."

Battling times zones and jet lag, Schutz made the tortuous 25-hour trip to Seoul, halfway around the world from his home in the Chicago suburb of Mt. Prospect, Ill.

He was too late for his event. That didn't stop Schutz, either.

Schutz is a three-time American champion in the 100-kilo (220-pound) weight class. In order to compete, he moved up a class to 242 pounds.

"To lift in my class I would have had to lift yesterday. There just wasn't enough time," he said.

Schutz, who weighs 224 pounds, was the lightest lifter in the competition by eight pounds, a huge deficit in a sport such as weightlifting.

Yet, he was just 6 pounds off his best lift.

"It was a really good effort. Marvelous," said his father, Fred, a former national champion. Schutz accompanied his son on every step of his Olympic odyssey.

It wasn't enough to win. But for Schutz, it was a dream fulfilled.

"In the long run, I beat everybody I was capable of beating," he said.

"When I get up on that platform, I have a routine that I do. I get everything else out of my mind."

Now, at least he has an Olympic performance to savor for the rest of his life.

"I was attacked by my entree": Talk about your fresh seafood!

Don Gambril, coach of the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1984, went to dinner with a companion at a Korean restaurant in Seoul. He ordered shrimp.

When his dinner arrived, the waitress knelt at the table and shelled the jumbo prawn. She handed it to Gambril, who dunked it in a dish of soy sauce.

The tail of the shrimp began quivering, splattering sauce all over Gambril's shirt.

Stop, salute, steal: Some 500 Olympic flags have been stolen or damaged near U.S. Army headquarters in Seoul, and American soldiers are suspected of being responsible.

Local authorities said the flags had disappeared or been damaged since late July in the area around the headquarters of the U.S. 8th Army in the Yongsang district.

Officials said U.S. military authorities had been asked to tell their troops to leave the flags alone. The flags are apparently taken as souvenirs.

Officials said they received reports from citizens that Americans were seen ripping down the flags.

A little off above the ears, and a word, please: Diver Jorge Mondragon let everyone know what nation he was from during the preliminary diving competition on the 10-meter platform.

As he rose from the pool after his first dive, television cameras focused on the back of his head, where his hair had been specially clipped to leave exposed skin in the shape of the word "Mexico."

Mondragon placed 11th with 518.52 points, earning a berth in the finals.

Times Staff Writer Randy Harvey contributed to this report.

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