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Ireland Olympian de Bruin Faces Possible Lifetime Ban

May 26, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

Ireland's triple Olympic swimming champion Michelle de Bruin faces an uphill battle to save her career after the sport's governing body announced Monday that a random urine sample had been altered.

In a statement from its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, FINA said a second test on a urine sample from de Bruin tested in a Barcelona laboratory last Thursday confirmed the likelihood of tampering.

"These results indicate suspicion of physical manipulation," FINA said. "The case will immediately be submitted to the FINA Doping Panel for trial in accordance with the FINA rules for consequences of doping control."

De Bruin, who won three gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as Michelle Smith, has consistently denied any involvement in doping but if the FINA doping panel confirms the findings, she could be banned for life.

"It appears clear at this time that our client can only be charged with physical manipulation and not the use of any banned substance," said de Bruin's attorney Peter Lennon last week. "[De Bruin is now] more determined that ever to fight any charges that may be formally brought against her."

According to Lennon, there was no evidence de Bruin herself had interfered with the samples and that any manipulation must have taken place after it was out of her sight.

If FINA does impose a ban, de Bruin has said she was prepared to bring her case to the International Olympic Committee's Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pro Football

The owners of the Minnesota Vikings have decided not to consider bids less than novelist Tom Clancy's failed $200 million offer, and they hope to complete a sale of the team by late July.

According to co-owner Jaye Dyer, the owners hope to receive NFL approval to finalize a deal at the league's meeting in late July and that they will deal only with prospective buyers who can demonstrate their ability to come up with the money, not agents. Clancy's bid was presented through an agent representing an investment group, and Clancy ultimately was unable to back up his offer with the money.

Tennis

Four of the top eight seeded players in the NCAA women's singles championship were eliminated at South Bend, Ind., the most first-round upsets ever in the individual draw.

Anne Kremer of Stanford lost, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, to Zuzana Lesenarova of San Diego. Fifth-seeded Sandy Sureephong of Texas, No. 6 Annica Cooper of UCLA and No. 8 Lauren Nikolaus of William & Mary also lost their first-round matches.

Unbeaten Stanford shut out Mississippi State and third-seeded Georgia defeated No. 2 Louisiana State, 4-1, to advance to the finals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships at Athens, Ga.

Motor Sports

James Weaver of England and Butch Leitzinger of State College, Pa., ended a 13-year winless streak with a victory in the World Sports Car Championship at Lakeville, Conn.

In the Trans-Am series, Lou Gigliotti of Garland, Texas, won the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix for his first victory. Michael Lewis of San Diego was second and Ross Thompson of Phoenix was third.

Golf

Colin Montgomerie made a 10-foot birdie putt at the final hole for a one-stroke victory in the Volvo PGA Championship at Virginia Water, England.

Montgomerie shot a final-round 69 to win the tournament for the first time with a total of 14-under 274.

Patrik Sjoland, Ernie Els and Gary Orr finished tied behind Montgomerie, one stroke back.

Miscellany

Princeton won its third NCAA Division I lacrosse championship in a row and fifth in seven years by defeating Maryland, 15-5, at Piscataway, N.J. Only two other teams have won three consecutive Division I titles, Syracuse (1988-90) and Johns Hopkins (1978-80). No team has ever won four in a row.

Kenyans Simon Rono and Jane Omoro won the men's and women's elite races at the 20th Bolder (Colo.) Boulder 10-K road race.

The 1-2 finish of Rono and teammate Hezron Otwori helped give Kenya the men's team title, but China placed three finishers in the top 13 to claim the women's championship.

Michael Diaz hit a three-run homer to lead Albertson College of Idaho to its first National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics baseball title with a 6-3 victory over Indiana Tech at Tulsa, Okla.

Glenn Magnusson of Sweden beat top sprinters Mario Cipollini and Silvio Martinello in a photo finish to win the ninth stage of the Tour of Italy bike race in Vasto, Italy.

Alex Zuelle of Switzerland retained the overall lead.

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Randy Harvey has the day off.

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