Lifting medal lifted

Bulgarian tests positive for diuretic

Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2000

SYDNEY, Australia -- On the same day a Bulgarian weightlifter kissed his silver medal goodbye in a drug scandal, a hamstring strain forced American sprinter Inger Miller to bid farewell to her 100-meter medal hopes.

But the longest goodbye belonged to the Cuban baseball team. The two-time defending gold medalists said adios to a 21-game Olympic winning streak after a shocking 4-2 loss to the Netherlands on Wednesday.

The Cuban defeat came amid a day of scandal and injury. Miller confirmed her debilitating leg injury just after the International Olympic Committee stripped weightlifter Ivan Ivanov of his medal in one of the first two doping cases during the Sydney Games.

Ivanov tested positive for a banned drug, as did hammer thrower Vadim Devyatovsky of Belarus. Ivanov, who kissed his barbell after clinching his medal Saturday in the 56-kilogram class, tested positive for a diuretic.

''I'm devastated by this,'' said Sam Coffa, vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation. ''... To do something like this was stupid.''

Diuretics, often used to reduce weight by flushing fluid from an athlete's body, are also used to mask the presence of other performance enhancing drugs.

Devyatovsky tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in an out-of-competition test in the athletes' village, IOC executive board member Kevan Gosper said.

n MILLER OUT: America's No. 2 sprinter, Inger Miller, confirmed that she is definitely out of the 100 meters and possibly the entire Sydney Games after straining her left hamstring in a pre-Sydney workout.

Miller, who finished second to Marion Jones in the 100 and 200 meters at the U.S. trials, was hopeful that rest would sufficiently heal the injury in time for the 200 on Sept. 27 and the subsequent relays.

''I'm disappointed ... but I've got to go with the flow,'' she said Wednesday (Tuesday night EDT). ''I'm still young and I've got other chances.''

Miller was considered a likely medalist in both the 100 and the 200.

n BASEBALL: Bam. Bam. Just like that, the Cuban baseball team's eight-year Olympic undefeated string is history.

After collecting two golds without a defeat in Barcelona and Atlanta, the Cuban baseball team finally suffered a loss to an unlikely opponent -- the Dutch, led by ex-New York Yankee Hensley ''Bam Bam'' Meulens.

Muelens' bases-loaded double drove in three runs and the Netherlands held on for a 4-2 victory over the powerful Cubans. The upset evened the Dutch team's record at 2-2, while gold-medal favorite Cuba fell to 3-1.

The U.S. team is still unbeaten at 3-0. The Americans, managed by Tommy Lasorda, captured their third straight victory when Kurt Ainsworth shut down the same Netherlands team, 6-2, on Tuesday.

n BOXING: Ricardo Williams Jr. became the ninth American fighter to win his opening Olympic match, shellacking Australia's Henry Collins 21-5 in a fight that was stopped in the fourth round. Williams fell behind in the first round before dominating the next three as the U.S. team continued its unbeaten roll through Sydney.

n SWIMMING: Jenny Thompson has one last chance. Lenny Krayzelburg has one more chance.

The two American swimmers qualified Wednesday (Tuesday night EDT) in preliminaries for their Sydney gold medal quests. For Thompson, it will be the final opportunity to win an individual gold after six relay medals. For Krayzelburg, it offers an opportunity to pick up a second gold medal.

Thompson, America's most decorated female gold medalist, swims in the 100-meter freestyle against world record-holder Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands. U.S. swimmer Dara Torres also qualified, finishing right behind de Bruijn.

Krayzelburg set himself up as the favorite by setting an Olympic record in preliminaries of the 200-meter backstroke. His 17-year-old teammate, Aaron Peirsol, finished second.

No swimmer has equaled the performance of Ian Thorpe, the acclaimed Australian sensation. The 17-year-old Thorpe captured his third gold medal of the Sydney Games by leading his team to victory Tuesday over the U.S. team.

Thorpe has also captured a silver at his hometown Olympics, never finishing behind any American. His lone second-place finish came when Dutch swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband took the gold in the 200 freestyle.

Typically, Thorpe helped the Australians set a world record in the 800-meter freestyle relay by opening a two-body length lead on the first leg. The Americans took the silver, their second in the relays, while the Netherlands earned the bronze.

The Americans captured a gold of their own, their sixth in swimming, when Tom Malchow set an Olympic mark in the 200 butterfly. Teammate Cristina Teuscher picked up a bronze in the 200 individual medley, giving the United States 14 medals in four days at the Olympic pool.

n MEN'S SOCCER: The U.S. men's soccer team made it to the Olympic quarterfinals for the first time ever. On the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, the American soccer players notched a historic 3-1 victory Tuesday over Kuwait. The Americans, needing a win to advance, outplayed their opponents to earn one.

A first-half goal by Danny Califf preceded second-half tallies by Chris Albright and Landon Donovan as the Americans won for just the fifth time in 25 Olympic contests dating back to 1924. Two of those wins were against Kuwait.

n WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS: The Magnificent Seven of Atlanta were replaced by a fourth-place finish in Sydney for the U.S. women's gymnasts -- the first time since 1988 that the American failed to medal in Olympic team competition.

But though the team did not defend its 1996 gold medal, team officials were encouraged by its showing after a last-place finish in the 1999 world championships. ''The girls did what they could,'' coach Kelli Hill said. ''We had nowhere to go but up.''

The gold this time went to world champion Romania. Russia won the silver and China took the bronze.

n TENNIS: After snatching up titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Venus Williams arrived in Sydney as the player to beat for the gold. Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia wasn't up to that task as Williams crushed her in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, in her first Olympic match.

The U.S. women completed the first round 3-0 when defending gold medalist Lindsay Davenport defeated Paolo Suarez of Argentina, 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday (Tuesday night EDT).

Jeff Tarango was the lone American to reach the second round of men's singles. The tempestuous Tarango, who made the team when Pete Sampras opted out of the games, beat Diego Camacho of Bolivia 6-0, 6-1.

No. 16 seed Michael Chang then lost to wildcard Sebastien Lareau of Canada 7-6 (6), 6-3. Todd Martin and Vince Spadea were already eliminated.

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