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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | TRACK AND FIELD

Clearance Reluctantly Given in 2 Drug Cases

July 26, 1996|Times Wire Services

Two athletes who failed recent drug tests will compete in the Games, even though world track officials wanted them kicked out.

The council of the International Amateur Athletic Federation on Thursday submitted the cases of Australian 200-meter sprinter Dean Capobianco and Italian high jumper Antonella Bevilacqua to arbitration.

The hearings will be held by the IAAF arbitration panel two or three months after the Games.

If the athletes are found guilty, their Olympic results will be wiped off the books, the IAAF said.

"It is embarrassing that two confirmed doping cases will be in the Games," IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai said. "This shows something is not proper."

Capobianco and Bevilacqua tested positive for drugs in May. The IAAF said it considered both athletes guilty of doping violations but was powerless to ban them before an arbitration hearing.

"We will probably have to change our rules in the future to take the power in our hands," IAAF medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said. "If we had the power, I would certainly recommend the exclusion of the athletes."

IAAF officials acknowledged that the threat of lawsuits also dissuaded them from taking unilateral action.

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