The German athletics federation (DLV) banned the three women for four years in February after they had provided identical urine samples during a random test at in South Africa. But last weekend the arbitration panel of the International Amateur Athletics Federation lifted the ban because the DLV's constitution did not authorise it to conduct out of competition testing.
The three informed the committee of their decision yesterday, apparently because they feel they would not be able to stand the pressure of competing in the Olympics. 'It is certain that the three athletes are not going to Barcelona,' Klaus Licht, an official with Krabbe's club Neubrandenburg, said last night. 'An official statement giving the reason why will be sent out tomorrow.'
Krabbe, 22, is likely to be the most significant absentee. The tall blonde brought a touch of glamour to the track and took the 100 and 200 metres titles at last year's world championships in Tokyo.
Backley raises the stakes, page 58
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