SWIMNEWS ONLINE: April 1997 Magazine Articles

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Anita Lonsbrough

Bin Lu returned to competition, after a two-year ban for testing positive, at the British leg of the 1997 FINA World Cup series, still denying the results of that test from the autumn of 1994.

"I know I never took drugs. Someone put something there," is her explanation. When asked if her sample could have been "tampered" with, she replied through an interpreter, "Yes."

Could her food and drink have been tampered with during training? Could it have happened in China? "That is not possible," she maintains, "In 1994 I was a top swimmer, my food was protected, I was very careful." In the future she will be "very careful when undergoing another doping control."

How did the drug suspension news affect her at home? "I didn't use any drugs at all" she protests. "I was very angry to be suspended. I kept swimming for those two years to show I have the ability to swim fast. I want to prove that. We are not like the Americans, many who have rich parents. My parents have no money. We cannot pay lawyers to protect us. But my parents gave me support. They would say things to support me and tell me I had a bright future."

During her two year suspension she trained 100,000 m per week. She admitted this was as much as before! But when comments were made about her weight loss and reduction in bulk, she claimed to have lost just one kilo, adding, "In my first year (1995), I did less swimming and more studying."

Twenty-year-old Bin Lu swam only the 50 and 100 backstrokes in Glasgow, because in her first big meet she was "taking it slow," but will return to her main events—freestyle and individual medley.

As for the future, she believes "In 1994 at age 17 I was at my peak, but the world has progressed."

Perhaps Bin Lu should study the Atlanta results more carefully, for the 200 I.M. was won by someone nine years older than she was in 1994 and over two seconds slower than the current world record.

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