Malar's medal chances improve
HAMILTON (CP) -- Joanne Malar's medal chances in the Sydney Olympics improved Thursday when Wu Yanyan was dropped from China's swimming team following a positive drug test.
Wu was reigning world champion and had posted the third-best time in the world this year in the 200-metre individual medley, just ahead of Hamilton's Malar, when the Chinese Olympic Committee's anti-doping commission reported the positive test.
"My first reaction is it's not surprising, but at the same time I'm happy she's been caught," Malar said from Los Angeles, where she is competing in the Janet Evans Invitational.
The elimination of a medal threat for the 2000 Games is a turnabout from 1996. It is widely accepted now that Malar missed out on a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics because the winner, Michelle Smith deBruin of Ireland, was using performance-enhancing drugs. Malar's teammate, silver medallist Marianne Limpert of Fredericton, should have won the gold.
Smith deBruin passed tests at the Olympics but was banned from competition in 1998 for four years when drug watchdogs determined she doctored a urine sample with alcohol.
Malar said she only took joy in the fact another cheater was caught.
"Hopefully all the testing that is being done will keep catching the cheaters," she said.