OLYMPIC GAMES: Battle of a lone Briton

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Weightlifting has one of the worst drug abuse records of any Olympic sport, and the British team did nothing to change this at Barcelona in 1992.

Two British competitors - Andy Saxton and Andrew Davies - had to be withdrawn before the event began after drug tests found traces of clenbuterol, classified as a steroid agent.

Britain did not win a single medal at Barcelona; the best performance came from Peter May, who finished a creditable seventh in the 90-kilogram category. Weightlifting in Britain has been in decline since. Only one Briton, Anthony Arthur (83kg) has qualified for Atlanta, and he was a wild card selection, whereas eight British lifters went to Barcelona.

Although the common perception of weightlifters may be of muscle-bound jocks with more brawn than brains, Arthur, 23, from Manchester, is in the middle of taking a chemistry PhD. His recent record has shown promise: he was eighth in the European Games in March.

But Arthur is realistic about his chances. "I don't really believe I can win a medal. I hope to be placed in the top 20," he said, "As far as drug abuse is concerned, that's all in the past now. British weightlifting has moved into a drug-free era."

It is 100 years since Britain won its only gold medal in the sport, in the one-armed competition in Athens in 1896. Arthur expects his main competition to come from the Russians, Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians and Chinese who, he says, are all "very strong."

GREAT BRITAIN: A Arthur (76kg).