Commonwealth Games: Africa's hero tests positive for drugs: Runner-up to Christie in men's 100m final faces four-year ban from the sport after showing traces of steroids

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The Independent Online
HORACE DOVE-EDWIN, of Sierra Leone, has been stripped of the silver medal he won behind Linford Christie in the 100 metres at the Commonwealth Games last Tuesday after he failed a drugs test. It is the third positive test of the Games, the subject having dominated the media in Britain this week because of the problems of Diane Modahl and Paul Edwards.

Dove-Edwin, who improved from 10.34sec to 10.02 in two days, tested positive for stanozolol metabolites, the same steroid Ben Johnson used when he was disqualified from the 1988 Olympics.

Michael Green, of Jamaica, is promoted to the silver medal and Frankie Fredericks, of Namibia, the bronze.

'The athlete was not able to account for the presence of the banned substance, and in response to detailed questioning insisted that he had not been advised or influenced in any way by any other party in the taking of any substances,' said a press statement released by the Commonwealth Games federation.

Dove-Edwin, aged 27, not only now faces a four-year suspension from athletics, but he is also banned from the next Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in September 1998.

Sierra Leone's 4 x 100m relay team were also disqualified. They had used Dove- Edwin in the heats on Saturday, even though their team manager was aware he had failed the A sample. The B sample was tested yesterday morning and Dove-Edwin appeared before the Commonwealth Games court immediately.

Sierra Leone's general team manager, Bradman Benka- Coker, wept as he said: 'We are all shocked - we didn't expect anything like this.

'He must be a broken man. I'm certainly a broken man. I was secretly hoping the B test wouldn't show.'

Dove-Edwin had been Sierre Leone's first Commonwealth medallist and had been one of the characters of the Games, using his performance as a platform to appeal for African peace.

The runner, who did not march in the opening ceremony because his team did not have enough money for a uniform, asked Christie for his autograph, and he was later taken salmon fishing by a broadcasting company.

'It's a very sad event,' said David Dixon, the secretary of the Commonwealth Games federation. 'Someone who was a hero earlier in the Games has been found to be a drug offender.'

The announcement came 24 hours after Dove-Edwin received an award from the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada for his performance.

Dove-Edwin's mother lives in Brixton, and he himself lived there for four years, competing in the 1991 AAA Championships. He is currently attending La Grange university in Atlanta.

Stanozolol came be taken in two ways. It can be injected, but traces of it remain in the system for up to four weeks afterwards. It can also be taken in pill form. Using this method, it becomes undetectable after just 90 hours.

On Friday, Godson Sawah, a boxer from Ghana, was disqualified from receiving a bronze medal after he tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic. And on Saturday, it was revealed Jamaican hurdler Robert Foster had used ephedrine, a stimulant.

(Photograph omitted)