Randy Barnes, the world record holder in the shot put, tested positive for drugs at a meet in Sweden in August, a French newspaper reported today.
U.S. and international track officials said they were unable to confirm the report. Barnes could not be reached immediately for comment.
L'Equipe, a nationally circulated sports daily, said Barnes tested positive at the Aug. 7 meet at Malmo. He won the shot put there with a throw of 74 feet, 11 1/4 inches--11 inches short of the record of 75-10 1/4 he set earlier in the year.
L'Equipe said the first test was analyzed at a laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden. It then was submitted to a second test, the results of which will be known within 15 days.
If the second test is positive, Barnes will likely be suspended from competition for two years. That would make him ineligible for the 1991 world indoor and outdoor track and field championships, and jeopardize his chances for the 1992 Olympics.
A spokesman for the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the world governing body in London, issued no comment.
Arne Ljungvist of Sweden, a vice president of the IAAF and member of its medical committee, said Monday he had heard rumors of the positive test during the Mobil Grand Prix final at Athens last week but had no official information.
A spokesman from The Athletic Congress, the governing body in the United States, said he had no information about a positive test concerning Barnes.