A fifth athlete from the former Soviet Union was expelled from the Olympics on Thursday for using a controversial drug, while an Irish runner and team officials were reprimanded in a case involving cold tablets.
Russian sprinter Marina Trandenkova, fifth-place finisher in the women’s 100 meters, was disqualified after testing positive for the banned stimulant bromantan, the International Olympic Committee said. Her results were wiped off the books.
It was the first doping expulsion of the Atlanta Games in track and field.
Earlier, two Russian swimmers and a Greco-Roman wrestler were thrown out for taking bromantan. A cyclist from the former Soviet republic of Lithuania also was disqualified for bromantan, while her team doctor and coach were expelled for supplying the drug.
“I believe that someone is not happy about Russian victories, and that this is all about exerting psychological pressure on our athletes,” Russian Olympic committee president Vitaly Smirnov told the Itar-Tass news agency.
Irish 5,000-meter runner Marie McMahon was reprimanded after testing positive for a stimulant contained in Robitussin, a cold and cough medicine readily available without a prescription.
McMahon, the NCAA indoor 5,000-meter champion from Providence College, failed to qualify for the 5,000 final, finishing 14th of 15 runners in her heat.
U.S. cyclist Jeanne Golay is getting an Olympic bonus: She will replace Rebecca Twigg in Saturday’s time trial.
Twigg, a six-time world champion, quit the team over a feud with national coaching director Chris Carmichael and flew home Monday night.
On Thursday, the international cycling federation allowed U.S. officials to replace Twigg with Golay, who finished 29th in the road race and 17th in the points races.
Athletes who are ill or injured are routinely replaced. But because they hadn’t dealt with an Olympian quitting before, USA Cycling officials weren’t sure at first if they’d get to race a substitute rider.
Raed Ahmed, the Iraqi defector who made a bold dash for freedom at the Olympics, said he surely will be killed if his bid for political asylum fails and he is returned to his homeland.
And regardless of his success, he fears his relatives back home will be tortured.
“If I was refused by the United States and sent back to Iraq, I will be executed immediately,” the weightlifter said through an interpreter at a news conference.
Ahmed, who carried his nation’s flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, said he believed his wife, Madiha Mohamad, was safe in Iraq.
Two table tennis spectators were arrested for fighting with police who tried to remove one of them from the stands for waving a banned flag from Taiwan.
Although Taiwan competes in the games, it does so under a different flag in a long-established agreement to placate China. Fans are prohibited from carrying any flags other than those of participating countries into the stands.