ATHLETICS; Baumann's cause is aided by test results

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TRACES OF nandrolone have been found in a tube of toothpaste belonging to Germany's former Olympic champion, Dieter Baumann. The 5,000 metres winner at Barcelona in 1992 is suspended indefinitely by the German Athletics Federation after twice testing positive for the substance. On each occasion, 10 times the permitted level of the substance was found in his body.

A Cologne drug testing laboratory announced the findings yesterday. It believes the substance had been injected into the tube taken from Baumann's house. The laboratory also revealed that tests taken on Baumann and his wife Isabell over several days had returned nandrolone levels of up to 90 nanograms. The authorised threshold is two. However, the athlete has responded to accusations, saying that he was taking legal action and had lodged a claim at a court in Tubingen for "deliberate wounding".

Baumann said: "The results from Cologne's anti-doping institute will be crucial in helping me solve this difficult situation that I'm in."

The German federation plans to submit the institute's test results to its own anti-drug commission and wait on its findings before taking a decision on the length of the ban Baumann must serve.