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Swimming Puts Onus on Federations

July 18, 1996|Staff and Wire Reports

Swimming's world governing body (FINA) took the boldest initiative yet Wednesday in the fight against drugs by throwing the onus on the national federations to control doping.

In a move that throws into confusion attempts to harmonize doping regulations among sports federations, FINA's congress voted overwhelmingly to ban for two years any federation whose swimmers return four positive steroid tests in a 12-month period.

The decision is directly aimed at China following the Asian Games two years ago, when seven Chinese swimmers, including two world champions, tested positive.

Wei Jizhong, the head of the Chinese Olympic Committee, responded angrily to questions at a news conference, saying his country's swimmers had been subjected to drug tests "1,000% or more" times greater than those from other countries. He said China has done all it can and noted that since 1995 not a single Chinese athlete has flunked a drug test.

The congress resisted moves to lower the ban on individuals for a first steroid offense from four to two years after a similar decision at the IAAF congress last year.


Russia's weightlifting team is minus a medal hopeful because of drug use. Officials said European 183-pound champion Yuri Myshkovets was removed from the Olympic team after testing positive for performance-enhancers. . . . Italian officials are expected to impose a ban on high jumper Antonella Bevilacqua for two positive drug tests in May. She originally was not banned because she said she took ephedrine, a stimulant, by mistake. . . . Australia's board of athletics has dismissed an accusation that sprinter Dean Capobianco tested positive for steroid use, clearing the way for him to compete in the 200 meters. He had tested positive for Stanozolol, the banned drug that led to Ben Johnson's disqualification at the 1988 Olympics, but officials said they weren't convinced he had taken the drug.

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