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TRACK AND FIELD / WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NOTEBOOK : U.S. Women’s 800 Champion Suspended

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The U.S. champion in the women’s 800 meters, Delisa Walton Floyd of Houston, became the first athlete to test positive for a banned substance during track and field’s World Championships.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation announced Thursday that Floyd, 30, tested positive for an amphetamine. Under strict sanctions passed last week by the IAAF, she has been suspended for four years. Previously, the offense would have resulted in a two-year suspension.

A former NCAA champion from Tennessee and a fifth-place finisher in the 1988 Olympic Games, she was eliminated in the semifinals here Sunday.

National champion Antonio Pettigrew of Raleigh, N.C., won the 400 meters in 44.57 seconds. Danny Everett, formerly of UCLA, finished third in 44.63 and might have finished second if he had leaned at the finish line. Great Britain’s Roger Black leaned and finished second in 44.62.

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“I did lean,” Everett insisted. “I just didn’t lean far enough.”

Everett was an alternate here after finishing fourth in the U.S. Championships. He gained a place in the field after USC’s Quincy Watts withdrew, claiming that he was not fit.

Another Bruin, Janeene Vickers, finished third in the women’s 400-meter intermediate hurdles in a U.S. collegiate record of 53.47, becoming the second American under 54 seconds.

Fourth in that race in 53.95 was the American record-holder, Sandra Farmer-Patrick, who arrived here as the favorite. Challenging for the lead, she mistimed her steps leading to the 10th and final hurdle and stumbled. She did not fall, but wandered out of her lane and needed several steps to regain her balance.

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The Soviet Union’s Tatiana Ledovskaya won in 53.11, the second-fastest time ever. Great Britain’s Sally Gunnell was second in 53.16, the third-fastest ever.

On Friday, through seven events in the decathlon, Dan O’Brien of Moscow, Ida., had a 148-point lead over Canada’s Michael Smith.

With legal personal bests in the 100 (10.41 seconds), shotput (53-3 1/2), 400 (46.53) and 110-meter hurdles (13.94), O’Brien was 12 points behind the world-record pace set by Great Britain’s Daley Thompson and 341 points ahead of Bruce Jenner’s American-record pace.

Bothered by tendinitis in his knee, Dave Johnson of Pomona was in 17th-place with 5,518 points.

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For the first time in a major meet since the 1972 Olympics, the United States will not have a finalist in the men’s 1,500 meters. National champion Terrance Herrington of Hartsville, S.C., failed to advance past the first round. He was the only U.S. entrant after veteran Steve Scott failed to earn a qualifying time and Joe Falcon and Jim Spivey withdrew because of injuries.

In the women’s 1,500, only PattiSue Plumer of Palo Alto advanced to the final. National champion Suzy Hamilton of Malibu and Darcy Arreola of Northridge faltered in the first round.


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