Paralympic Games: Fourth gold medal for Holmes

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The Independent Online
CHRIS HOLMES, a partially- sighted 21-year-old from Kidderminster, won his fourth gold medal of the Games in Barcelona last night, taking the 200m backstroke in a world record of 2min 33.14sec.

Tara Flood, 26, from London, added a second British gold in the 50m breaststroke severely disabled class. Britain also took silver with Scotland's Margaret McEleney, of Gurrock, in the 200m breaststroke in the same class.

The British wheelchair tennis players, Christine Blackmore, from Romsey, and Hereford's Janet McMorran, reached the women's doubles semi-finals with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Australia's Randa Huison and Susan Twelftree.

Denes Nagy, of Hungary, who won a shot putt silver medal in the level one blindness category, has become the first Paralympic competitor to fail a drug test. He will be expelled from the athletes' village in Barcelona today and told to take the first plane home.

Nagy tested positive five days ago for methandianone, an anabolic steroid, and admitted taking the drug after a second positive test on Monday. He will be suspended for four years and told to return his medal.

The organisers last year voted to adopt the International Olympic Committee's list of 200 banned substances and mandatory drug testing is being carried out for the first time in the 32 years of the Paralympic Games, but many of the athletes require medication in order to compete.

'What do you do about an athlete that takes muscle relaxants to help him deal with spasticity?' Michael Ferrara, the medical officer of the US team, asked. 'I have no doubt we need to drug test here, but we need to do it intelligently.'