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Friday, July 7, 2000
British swimmer banned for life; two others cleared

  LONDON (AP) -- British swimmer Mike Fibbens, a three-time Olympian, has been banned from all future Olympics for a drug offense.

  Two other Brits, hurdler Matthew Douglas and sprinter Doug Turner, had their lifetime drug bans lifted on appeal.

  The British Olympic Association's Independent Appeal Panel on Doping ruled that Fibbens "should not be considered eligible for consideration as a member of any future Great Britain Olympic Team."

  Fibbens, a European and Commonwealth medalist, tested positive for Benzoylecgonine, a cocaine-like substance, at a World Cup meet in March 1998.

  Benzoylecgonine is a social, non-performance enhancing drug, but it is on the BOA's list of prohibited substances.

  BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said, "I am saddened that such an experienced and seasoned Olympic athlete as Mike Fibbens has found these standards too high to uphold, and regret that he will not be in a position to join Team GB (Great Britain) in Sydney."

  Fibbens said, "If the BOA knew me the way my family and fellow swimmers do, they would know they have made a big mistake."

  Douglas and Turner were banned by the BOA after testing positive for ephedrine.

  Clegg said the ephedrine found in Douglas and Turner is a common ingredient in over-the-counter cold and flu remedies.

  "The International Olympic Committee treats a first-time finding for ephedrine as its most minor of doping offenses, and it would have been entirely inappropriate for the BOA to impose a lifetime ban for this offense on Matthew Douglas," Clegg said.

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