SWIMNEWS ONLINE: May 1997 Magazine Articles

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Backwash features short clips, gossip, letters and opinions. Contributions are welcome.


$50 Million Election Promise

A $50 million election promise over five years can be found in the Liberal Red Book II containing the party's platform, reports James Christie of The Globe and Mail.

In 1988, Federal spending on sport peaked at $86 million. This has been reduced to $40 million in the current year. The additional $10 million a year is shared by national sport organizations, training centres, major Games, support to individual athletes, and special projects involving aboriginal sport programs and athletes with disabilities.

Australian Sports

Australian sports organizations could face a 36% corporate tax under proposed changes to tax laws, reports Jacquelin Magnay in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 29.

"What they are giving to us with one hand, they are planning to take away with the other," said Australian Swimming executive director Vena Murray, whose organization receives AUS$ 4 million annually in Federal grants.

The changes were aimed at charitable trusts, preventing them from claiming exemptions on money sent overseas. Sporting bodies insist they will also be hit by the Government's crackdown.

Most organizations at present enjoy a tax exemption because they are established for the encouragement of a game or sport, but under the proposed changes, only sports operating solely in Australia will be able to claim the exemption. Sports that travelled overseas to compete would be subject to income tax on operations.

Exact wording of the legislation has not been finalized.

Four More Positives Come to Light

Four more positives brings the Chinese total to 23. Four swimmers tested positive in January 1996. They were not reported to FINA until February of 1997.

According the FINA Director Cornel Marculescu, "Nations are now obliged to report positive tests. China has done that," adding "they are fighting against drugs and taking action themselves. Six months to a year is a normal reporting period."

One male Qiang Lu, was found to have testosterone/epitestorene ratio above the allowed limit, and three female swimmers Ran Yu, Shi Pu, and Jialin Chen, were all found to be using anabolic steroids. Together with three unnamed coaches, the four swimmers have already been banned for two years by the Chinese Federation.

None of the swimmers have been world ranked. These are small fish and will have little media impact.

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University is looking at the possibility of competing in the NCAA. Presently the school is in the NAIA, but will likely apply - along with several other Northwest universities - to form an NCAA conference.

Simon Fraser has competed in the US for over 30 years.

Top Canadian swimmers such as Gary MacDonald and Bruce Robertson swam at SFU.

Letter to the Editor:

I read with great interest Dave Johnson's comments in the February issue regarding the difficulties faced in trying to make Canadian senior swimming more competitive at the international level.

I have a simple suggestion that I believe would go a long way towards making Canada a "mini" powerhouse in Sydney.

Send your best athletes - particularly your men - south to college in the United States. Even with scholarships and practice limitations, the U.S. collegiate program is still the most competitive on earth. Nowhere else can a top swimmer be tested week in and week out in a dual meet and/or invitational setting. And come conference time with the NCAA qualification standards as difficult as they are, the bloodletting is simply awesome.

Only the fittest survive and make it to the top, but those that do gain a competitive advantage available no place else.

But don't just take my word for it.

Ask such great Canadian swimmers as Ralph Hutton, Graham Smith, Bill Sawchuk, Cheryl Gibson, Wade Flemons, Stephen Clarke, Shamek Pietucha, Peter Szmidt, Marylyn Chiang or (especially) Shannon Shakespeare, who could be spectacular next summer based on her work at Michigan this past season. All these Canadians and many, many more have survived and prospered at the top of the heap because of their training (and racing) in the U.S.

The National Centre in Calgary is nice, but I will always believe nothing takes the place of top-flight competition, and Canadian clubs and the university system have repeatedly shown that with rare exceptions (Victor Davis, Alex Baumann, and Curtis Myden come immediately to mind), such competition is not available.

Bill Bell,
Los Angeles, CA

Letter to the Editor:

Your magazine is great! I have been a subscriber to other swimming magazines for many years but today you are on top.

I wish SWIMNEWS good luck and a long life.

Andrey Puzanov
Former USSR gold medallist
CREST Swim Coach, Toronto

Letter to the Editor:

You provided an outstanding service from Sweden with the results of the World SC Championships - it was great to see the results of an international event within a couple of hourse after the session.

Your ongoing international result pages make very interesting reading and keep us all up-to-date.

Thanks a lot, from all of us at SNC.

Ian Curry
Ottawa, ON

Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied

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