Russian fails drugs test

Drugs in sport
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The Independent Online
A second Russian swimmer has been disqualified from the Olympics after failing a drugs test. Nina Zhivanevskaya, a world championship medallist, tested positive for bromantan, a stimulant cum masking agent which has resulted in four disqualifications at the Atlanta Games.

The action against the 19-year-old Russian backstroker comes two days after her team-mate Andrei Korneyev was stripped of the 200m breaststroke bronze medal he won last Wednesday. Britain's Nick Gillingham, who finished fourth behind Korneyev, has been awarded the bronze medal forfeited by the Russian.

The Russian wrestler Zafar Guliyev, who also forfeits a bronze medal, and the Lithuanian cyclist Rita Razmaite were the other athletes who tested positive for bromantan.

Michele Verdier, an IOC spokeswoman, said the head of the Lithuanian Olympic Committee's cycling team, Vitaly Slionssarenko, and the team's coach, Boris Vasiliev, had been thrown out of the Games. Slionssarenko has been barred from all events related to the Olympics until the 2000 Sydney Games.

Russia has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the IOC action against Korneyev. The court, an ad hoc "flying squad" of arbitrators brought to Atlanta to settle disputes quickly, considered the case on Monday, Cornel Marculescu, the International Swimming Federation director, said.

Verdier confirmed the court had met but said she did not know the result or if the deliberations were still going on.

Zhivanevskaya finished eighth and last in last Thursday's 200m backstroke final, nearly seven seconds behind the Hungarian gold medallist Krisztina Egerszegi. She failed to make the main final of the 100m backstroke but won the B final.

Zhivanevskaya took the 100m backstroke silver medal at the 1994 world championships in Rome. She was the European 100m backstroke silver medallist in 1993 and the European 200m backstroke bronze winner in 1993 and 1995.

Verdier said all doping tests from the Olympic swimming competition, which ended last Friday, would have been evaluated by now. "If there is a [doping] case it will be announced." she said.

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