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Australian's performance plan : SWIMMING


Don Talbot, a tough, 61-year-old Australian head-hunted to unearth future British Olympic champions, will tomorrow give his answer to a job offer from the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain.

The Sports Council is providing a £200,000 package to fund the appointment of a director of performance which, like that of the chief executive, director of development and facility consultant of the Amateur Swimming Association, was never advertised.

Talbot presented his ideas on raising the standard of British swimming at a meeting last night with leading British coaches in Sheffield and tomorrow he will talk to some of the older leading swimmers before announcing his decision.

The meetings were described by David Sparkes, the secretary of the ASFGB, as historic.

The International Swimming Federation, Fina, yesterday announced plans for a crackdown on the use of drugs, including a possible increase in the current two-year ban for first offenders.

Apart from "substantially" increasing the number of out-of-competition dope tests this year, Fina said it planned to send a commission to China to "investigate the involvement of coaches, doctors and team leaders in the cases of drug abuse found in Chinese swimmers in 1994".