Dope tests send three out
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Even before the Olympics begin, officials announced that three athletes and a coach have been barred from the games after positive drug tests.
Taiwan, already hurt by two drug cases, ordered weightlifter Chen Po-pu and coach Tsai Wen-yee home, Taiwan officials said.
Also barred from the games were Bulgarian triple and long jumper Iva Prandzheva, and Kazakstan swimmer Evguenia Yermakova.
The expulsions came on the same day that White House drug chief Barry McCaffrey praised the International Olympic Committee for its progress in the past 18 months in keeping drugs out of the Olympics. McCaffrey had been a strident critic of the IOC and its anti-doping policies.
"There is a lot to be proud of," he said Wednesday. "Having said that, we are probably a third of where we need to be."
Chen was tested twice on Aug. 28. After learning that the first test was positive, he waived his right to know the results of the second test, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.
The International Weightlifting Federation has already barred Taiwan's world champion weightlifter Chen Jui-lien and her teammate Wu Mei-yi from competing in Sydney because of drug allegations.
Prandzheva, the triple jump silver medalist at the 1995 world championships, was considered a medal threat at the Sydney Games. He had been banned for two years after the 1996 games following a positive doping test.
Yermakova, a freestyle and butterfly swimmer, tested positive for a drug masking agent, Furosemide, at a meet in Monte Carlo in May, the FINA world swimming association said in a letter to the IOC.