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Monday August 09, 1999 11:57 AM

Two Chinese swimmers banned

Posted: Monday August 09, 1999 11:57 AM

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Two Chinese swimmers have been banned for three years after testing positive for a second time for banned
performance-enhancing drugs, world swimming's governing body FINA said Monday.

Xiong Guoming and Wang Wei both tested positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test in March of this
year. It was the second offense for both swimmers.

Xiong's ban takes effect immediately, while Wang's will run from Apr. 13 next year -- the date on which he finishes his current two-year ban. Both swimmers have been disqualified from any competitions they have taken part in since March 8.

Cornel Marculescu, executive director of FINA, said he did not know yet why the body's doping panel had decided on the three-year ban rather than excluding the swimmers for life.

"They have already had two years, so they will be banned for five years," Marculescu said.

Xiong was one of seven Chinese swimmers banned for two years after testing positive for the performance-enhancing steroid DHT at the 1994 Asian Games.

He stormed back at last year's Asian Games in Bangkok, winning gold and breaking the Asian Games record in the 200-meter medley and taking silver in the 400-meter medley.

Marculescu said three Chinese swimmers and two coaches had received bans last year for doping offenses, but he believed the Chinese swimming federation was doing its best to wipe out drug-taking.

"I think they take very strong measures," he said. "You are out for life for one doping offense, and the most difficult thing is that if you have a doping case in one province then you cannot take part in the national championships."

Also on Monday two long-distance swimmers and two divers were banned from competition for doping offenses.

FINA suspended Spain's David Meca-Medina and Slovenian Igor Majcen for four years after both tested positive for the steroid anandrolone earlier in the season.

The suspension came two days after Meca-Medina won the 22-mile Ocean Marathon in Atlantic City, N.J. Majcen came third. Diver Tracy Bonner, of the United States, who won the U.S. championships with her partner Kathy Pesek, was banned for a year after testing positive for dextroamphetamine.

FINA said dextroamphetamine could be ruled legal under certain
circumstances. If Bonner is given permission to use the drug in the future, her suspension will be reduced to six months.

Russia's Yulia Pakhalina, the reigning world and European champion for 3-meter springboard diving, was banned for two months after testing positive for caffeine.