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SwimNews.com - Russell Caught In Drug Scam Again
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Russell Caught In Drug Scam Again

Jun 22, 2000

Cecil Russell, has been arrested in Torremolinos, Spain during a crackdown for the smuggling of Ecstasy tablets into the United States, police said today.

A police statement said Russell, currently training swimmer Nina Zhivanevskaia, was detained earlier this week along with another British citizen, a Norwegian and a Spaniard.

Zhivanevskaia, a former Russian swimmer of Bromatan fame from Atlanta, established a brief world record in the long course women's 50 backstroke with 28.69, bettered a few days later in Japan by Mai Nakamura with 28.67 and last weekend in Germany by Sandra Volker to 28.25. Zhivanevskaia married a Francisco Medina two year ago and now competes for Spain.

Russell, a Canadian, had been banned from coaching in the United States and Canada some years ago, after convicted of smuggling steroids.

L'Equipe, the sports daily French reported in May that Russell had been coaching Zhivanevskaia since last February.

Russell and another man were arrested at the Olympic swimming pool in Torremolinos where police seized 513 Ecstasy tablets hidden in ceramic figurines that were to be mailed to the United States, said police.

Spanish news agency EFE said the arrests this week were part of a crackdown, coordinated with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, on a smuggling ring that had sent 6,000 ecstasy pills to New York State and 3,000 pills to Illinois through Dutch and Spanish postal services.