SWIMNEWS ONLINE: October 1997 Magazine Articles

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Accountability For Testing Results


Forbes Carlile

FINA, the world governing body for swimming, can no longer sit on its hands.

It must be accountable now to the world and release details of ALL drug testing done on Chinese swimmers during the last six months.

The women swimmers' results at China's National Games in Shanghai indicate clearly that they are "at it" again.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
Hardly more than a year since China's dismal results at the Atlanta Games when only one gold medal went to China's women swimmers, another sporting "miracle" has unfolded and the 12 gold medals won by China at the 1994 World Championships in Rome seem well within their grasp in Perth. Why only one gold in Atlanta? Because for a time Chinese coaches were forced to "deprive" their charges of chemical assistance.

Shortly after Rome the Chinese were "ambushed" at Hiroshima, when, for the first time DHT was successfully tested for and seven swimmers were caught.

Coaches and swimmers complained for two decades about obvious drug use by East German competitors. Swimmer after swimmer was cheated of just rewards, to be told by FINA "there was no evidence" justifying action. Now thanks to the Stasi archives we know, but justice is still being withheld. There is strong resistance to award medals to the rightful winners.

The evidence may at first have been circumstantial against the East Germans. Now once again, with the phenomenal improvement of the Chinese women, history is being repeated.

The only way to stop them is to test and retest.
FINA must be accountable almost day by day, informing the swimming world on the internet at the FINA Website, for what it is doing to circumvent yet another drug scandal - this time about to unfold in Perth next January.

Testing in Perth for steroids will be next to useless.
Used with scientific caution, it is known that even detectable steroids take a day, probably hours to disappear from the system.

The world is waiting NOW to know exactly what FINA is doing with unannounced testing in China, now and for the past six months.

Forbes Carlile, from Ryde, Australia, is a member of the World Swimming Coaches Association's Anti-Doping Committee.

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