January 16, 1998 in Sports

With China Still Stinging, U.S. Swimmers Thrive Drug Suspensions Help Americans To Victory At World Championships

Associated Press
 

Jenny Thompson started the World Swimming Championships concerned about China’s drug-tainted swim team. Now she has three gold medals, while the Chinese gold rush was halted after four of the team’s swimmers tested positive for drugs.

Thompson, winner of five Olympic gold medals but none for an individual event, added the 100-meter butterfly title to her 100-meter freestyle victory and relay gold.

Thompson even bucked the trend she started Thursday as she stood “lonely” on the victory podium. Missing was the “No drugs” badge she wore to a news conference prior to the competition and since featured in most ceremonies with Americans, including Kristy Kowal’s silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday.

Thompson’s golds have the U.S. team count up to seven. With three days left, the Americans already have two more golds than they won four years ago at Rome, where the Chinese collected 12 of 16 golds in women’s events.

On Wednesday, swimming’s world governing body, FINA, suspended four Chinese swimmers, including three women, after they tested positive for the banned substance Triamterene, a diuretic.

In Beijing, a Chinese sports official said Thursday the four face strict punishment.

Last week, a female swimmer, Yuan Yuan, and coach Zhou Zhewen were disqualified from the championships after Australian Customs found 13 vials of muscle-building human growth hormone, also a banned substance, in Yuan’s bag. FINA banned Zhou 15 years and Yuan four years for trafficking.

China failed to win a medal Thursday, leaving it with two golds, a silver and a bronze.

Lenny Krayzelburg gave the United States a gold medal Thursday in the 100-meter backstroke. The Americans concluded their golden night when the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team edged Australia.

The Ukraine-born Krayzelburg was timed in 55.00 seconds in beating Canada’s Mark Versfeld (55.17) and Germany’s Stev Theloke (55.20).

Thompson clocked 58.46 in her win.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email