Hockey: Banned substance excludes Garcia

RUSSELL GARCIA, the sport's youngest Olympic gold medallist at Seoul in 1988, has been disciplined for allegedly taking a banned substance socially by Great Britain and excluded from their tour party to Australia and New Zealand in January to be announced later this week.

The 29-year-old, who has made 289 international appearances for England and Great Britain and now plays his club hockey in Germany at the Harvestehuder club in Hamburg, was training with Great Britain at Millfield School last week.

The much-travelled Garcia, who started his senior career with the highly successful Havant side, then moved to Barcelona as player-coach to the Polo Club, before going on to The Hague where he played for HDM. For the last couple of years he has been with the German club. Chris Spice, the GB Performance Director, said yesterday: "Hockey is bitterly disappointed. We can say no more at this stage but hope to be able to make a further statement next week."

Peter Weller, Purley Walcountian's captain, had an up-and-down game in his club's top-of-the-table meeting with Beckenham in the South Premier at the weekend.

Weller opened the scoring in the 5th minute and saw Purley go further ahead before three goals from Beckenham's Danny Holmes brought the league leaders back to 3-3. Beckenham's winning goal came from Andy Holmes 10 minutes from time with Purley reduced to 10 men, Weller serving the last of his three temporary suspensions in the match. Beckenham have now opened up a four-point gap at the top.

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