SWIMNEWS ONLINE: January 1997 Magazine Articles

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Anita Lonsbrough

Nick Gillingham's fight to secure a third consecutive Olympic medal becomes lonelier by the day. Gillingham, of Great Britain, thought he had secured the bronze medal in the 200 Breaststroke at the Atlanta Olympics after the third-place finisher, Andrei Korneev, tested positive for a banned substance.

The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Atlanta gave Korneev the benefit of the doubt after Russian officials claimed that the drug, bromatan, was not performance-enhancing. Although Prince Alexandre de Merode, Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission, said "For us it remains a stimulant and masking agent. We will in the future try to prove it in a non-disputable way."

The opportunity of appealing through both the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain (ASFGB) have seen the doors close. The BOA has, it feels, no case for an appeal because it was not involved in the Court of Arbitration's decision, and has no right to appeal.

David Sparkes, secretary of the ASFGB, said "The issue has been dealt with by the Court of Arbitation of Sport (CAS) in Atlanta. Having studied the decision of the CAS, we would find it hard to find a basis for launching an appeal through the courts." He went on to add, "We, the ASFGB, would prefer to concentrate energy in ensuring a better system for an unannounced drug testing programme."

But a glimmer of hope appeared last month when Nick Gillingham was contacted by a solicitor who feels he has a case. Nick, 29, admits that "it is becoming an increasingly lonely struggle, with legal action financially impossible."

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