OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992 - Round-Up: Wu is first to fail drug test

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

BARCELONA'S drug testing programme caught its first culrpit yesterday when Wu Dan, a Chinese volleyball player, tested positive for strychnine and was banned from the Games.

Wu claimed that the strychnine, a banned stimulant, was in an old herbal tonic she was taking. She said she had not told her team doctors what she was taking. Prince Alexandre de Morode, the head of the International Olympic Committee's medical comission, said that Wu was guilty of ignorance and naivete, but not of cheating.

'It's not completely an innocent mistake because. . . she wanted to feel better from taking this powder,' he said. 'It's not completely innocent. It's a mistake, but it's a question of education also.

'I consider this an unfortunate case. There is no reason to treat her harshly,' he said, explaining that Wu would not be thrown out of the Village. The team, who are out of medal contention, will continue to compete. Wu faces a two-year ban.

The Chinese National Olympic Committee said they would use the case 'as an example in its anti-doping campaign.'

The prince may not be so worried about Wu, but what the cleaners in the Village keep coming across in athletes' apartments is causing him concern. 'The cleaners have found syringes all over the rooms. I find this very serious. No one knows what these people may be injecting themselves with,' he said.