Smith, four Chinese banned
On July 24, four top Chinese swimmers were banned from all competition for two years by FINA, swimming’s world governing body. The four-Zhang Yi, Wang Wei, Wang Luna and Cai Huiue-all tested positive for the steroid masking agent triamterene at the World Championships in Perth in January. That brings to 29 the number of Chinese swimmers who have been suspended by FINA for using banned, performanceenhancing substances since 1990 – (about as many as the rest of the world combined since drug testing began in 1972.
Two weeks later, on Aug. 6, FINA banned Irish Olympic triple gold medalist, Michelle Smith-De Bruin, 28, from competition for four years after she was found guilty of tampering with a urine sample taken to test for illegal drugs. Though Smith-De Bruin could have received a lifetime ban, the four-year sentence would knock her out of the Sydney Olympics and is tantamount to a lifetime ban for a swimmer of her age.
Smith-De Bruin’s urine sample was said by the IOC-accredited testing lab in Barcelona to have an alcohol content “in no way compatible with human consumption.” Earlier, IOC drug czar, Prince Alexandre de Merode, had characterized the amount of alcohol in Smith-De Bruin’s sample as lethal, had it been ingested.
The Irish swim star continued to proclaim her innocence and said she would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Correction. In “Lane 9” last month, we reported that only two swimmers have tested positive for marijuana, a non-performance-enhancing substance: Scott Miller of Australia and Gary Hall, Jr. of the United States. Turns out there have been three: we missed Russia’s Alexei Koleshnikov, who tested positive last fall and was suspended for three months.
Lenny Signs. Double world champion Lenny Krayzelburg has signed a multi-year endorsement contract with Speedo that is being described as the largest ever for a swimmer who has not won Olympic gold. The contract reportedly contains multiple bonus clauses based on Lenny’s performances at the Pan Pacs, World Championships and Sydney Olympics.
Summer Time. 1992 Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders, star of the popular Nickelodeon TV show, “Figure It Out,” has been named Ahmad Rashad’s co-host on NBC’s “NBA Inside Stuff.”
SWIM Author Honored. Kurt Grote, whose article on breaststroke technique appears in the current issue of Swimming World’s sister publication, SWIM Magazine, was elected president of the Stanford chapter of the American Medical Students Association. Grote, the 1998 world champion in the 200 meter breaststroke, won gold in both the 100 and 200 breast in August at the Goodwill Games.
Aussie Takes on the Monster. Australian long-distance swimmer Tammy Van Wisse, 30, plans to swim the length of Scotland’s ice-cold Loch Ness in early September. “I’m looking for my next challenge, and I’ve always been intrigued by the mystery of the Loch Ness monster,” she said. In 1996, Van Wisse became the first person to swim from mainland Australia to Tasmania (60.5 miles), and last year, she won the Manhattan Island marathon.
Goodwill Tidbits. 1984 Olympic gold medalist and current Masters world record holder Rowdy Gaines was the swimming color commentator for Turner Broadcasting at the recent Goodwill Games. Gaines teamed with 1976 Olympic gold medalist John Naber, who served as playby-play announcer. Dr. Ron Karnaugh, 32, whose article on stretching (“Take Time to S-T-R-E-T-C-H”) appeared in the June issue of Swimming World, took gold in two of three races at the Games. In a gesture of international good will, he also administered on-the-spot treatment to Rania Elwani of Egypt and Fernando Scherer of Brazil, both of whom had back problems. After being treated by Dr. Ron, Scherer went out and swam 48.69 in the 100 meter freestyle, making him the third fastest 100-meter man in history. Maybe you should bottle that treatment, Dr. Ron! Coaching Changes. Coaching legend Paul Bergen has been named the new head coach of The Tualatin Hills Barracudas in Oregon. Bill Volckening has been named the new Masters coach.
Back in the Swim. 1972 Olympic hero, Shane Gould, has started swimming again. Competing in her first Masters meet in July, Gould clocked 29.3 for the 50 meter (sc) free, an Australian record for women 40-44.
Swimming World on TV
Swimming World covers were featured on two recent TV shows. During the Goodwill Games, Turner Broadcasting’s feature on Misty Hyman showed the cover of the August 1997 issue along with some outtakes. The cover had Misty playing with a dolphin at Sea World.
When Dr. Ron Karnaugh was featured on NBC’s “Extra,” the cover of the November 1997 issue showing Dr. Ron in swimsuit and stethoscope was highlighted.
Euro Record. Holland’s Inge De Bruijn set a European record in the 50 meter freestyle in July at the Potomac Valley Long Course Championships in Oakton, Va. Her time of 25.06 seconds broke the previous record of 25.10 set by Russia’s Natalia Mesheryakova in 1994. The Russian tested positive for steroids last year and is serving a two-year suspension. De Bruijn’s time is the world’s fastest this year.
B.J. ‘s Back! B.J. Bedford, 26, turned in a spectacular performance at the Janet Evans Invitational in Los Angeles, July 23-26, where she won three events. Her best: 1:01.69 in the 100 back, fourth fastest in the world this year.
EuroSpeed. The European Junior Championships, held July 30 to Aug. 2 in Antwerp, Belgium, produced a host of names to watch for the future. Topping the list was Russia’s Dimitri Komornikov, 17, whose 2:13.42 in the 200 meter breast ranks third in the world; his 100 time of 1:02.36 places him 12th, Finishing just behind the Russian in the 200 was Adam Whitehead of Great Britain in 2:14.74 (10th).
Italy’s Alessio Boggiatto, 17, jumped up to fifth in the world rankings when he won the 400 IM in 4:20.00. Russia’s Anatoly Poliakov had the world’s sixth fastest time in winning the 200 fly (1:58.48). Igor Chervinski, 17, of Ukraine, swam 15:16.85 in the 1500 (9th).
Germany’s Hannah Stockbauer, 16, has the world’s sixth fastest 800 free for women with her 8:37.17 winning time. Finishing a stroke back at 8:38.76 was Russia’s Tatiana Mihailova (8th).
If you have a news item for “Lane 9,” send it to: Lane 9, Swimming World, P.O. Box 20337, Sedona, AZ 86341. Or fax it to: (520) 284-2477.
Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Sep 1998
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