Drugs in Sport: Four-year ban for hurdles champion

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The Independent Online
THE world high hurdles champion, Lyudmila Narozhilenko of Russia, was banned for four years yesterday for drug abuse, pending a hearing by her national federation.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation confirmed that the 27-year-old Narozhilenko had twice tested positive for an anabolic steroid. However, Vladimir Usachev, the general secretary of the Russian federation, said he had received no official information from the IAAF, and added: 'Even if the second test was positive, it's too early to talk about Narozhilenko's disqualification.'

Usachev said that Narozhilenko, who twice lowered the world indoor 60 metres hurdles record in Seville this month, had asked to be tested voluntarily in France. He explained that she had fainted at her mother's funeral recently, and was given injections and tablets in hospital. 'There is a possibility that these medicines contained some substances banned by the IAAF,' Usachev said.

John Ngugi, Kenya's five- times world cross-country champion who had been suspended by his national federation for refusing to take a random drug test, may have his ban lifted after a tribunal in Nairobi investigating the case had cleared him of any offence.

Katrin Krabbe, the German double world sprint champion whose ban for taking the drug clenbuterol was reduced from four years to 12 months on Tuesday, has accused her country's officials of plotting to stop her competing at August's world championships in Stuttgart.

Krabbe and two team-mates, Grit Breuer and Manuela Derr, will be free from suspension the day before the championships start, on 14 August. 'They chose that date because they knew that we wouldn't be able to go the world championships because we couldn't qualify for them,' Krabbe said.