Swimming Officials Investigating Smith for Test Tampering

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Olympic triple gold medalist Michelle Smith is under investigation over alleged tampering with a drug test, a world swimming official confirmed at Sydney, Australia.

FINA honorary secretary Gunnar Werner, responding to a report in The Times of London, confirmed that Smith was under investigation.

Smith was hounded by drug rumors during the Atlanta Olympics when she made phenomenal progress to win the 400 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley.

Smith’s lawyer, Peter Lennon, told the London newspaper that his client has been accused of tampering with her test.


The Times quoted Lennon as saying that Smith “had not failed a drugs test within the meaning of the rules.”

Werner said the “newspaper report is true. It is about manipulation of a test.”

He said he would not comment further. “Like all cases it is a matter for our doping panel,” Werner said.

Under FINA rules, an athlete may be deemed to have failed a test if tampering is proven, and it carries the same penalty.


As well as winning three gold medals at Atlanta, Smith, who lives near Dublin, won two golds and two silvers in the European Championships at Seville, Spain, last summer.


Andre Agassi, who has climbed to No. 20 in the world after dropping out of the top 100 last season, beat Todd Woodbridge, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, in the opening round of the BMW Open at Munich, Germany.

In other matches, second-seeded Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden defeated Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2; Galo Blanco defeated fellow Spaniard and two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) and Rainer Schuettler of Germany upset Mark Woodforde of Australia, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).


Top-seeded Pete Sampras struggled to a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) victory over unseeded Alex O’Brien to advance to the second round of the $315,000 AT&T; Challenge at Duluth, Ga. Qualifier Marcio Carlsson, ranked 134th in the world, upset third-seeded Jim Courier, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Top-seeded Petr Korda of the Czech Republic defeated compatriot Petr Kralert, 6-2, 6-1, to advance to the second round of the clay-court Czech Open.

Jennifer Capriati beat Florencia Labat of Argentina, 6-2, 6-4, in the German Grand Prix at Hamburg.

The U.S. Women’s hardcourt championships has been moved from Atlanta to New Haven, Conn. The tournament will be held Aug. 24-29.



Kentucky junior point guard Wayne Turner has pleaded guilty and was fined $97.50 for failing to file a report after being involved in a traffic accident at Lexington, Ky.

Atlanta Falcon linebacker Cornelius Bennett was ordered to surrender to sheriff’s deputies in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin serving a 60-day sentence for sexually abusing a former lover. Bennett pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sex abuse in September.

Former New Mexico football player Kawika Ordenstein pleaded not guilty in an Albuquerque court to attempted murder in the beating of another athlete. Ordenstein is charged with slamming the head of sprinter James Marin against a car in a fight over a woman. He was released on $100,000 bail.


Kansas State basketball player Pero Vasiljevic was arrested after police investigating an alleged break-in at his apartment in Manhattan, Kan., discovered a pipe with marijuana inside.

Ohio State guard Damon Stringer was charged with attacking a driver in a parking lot at Columbus, Ohio.

Auto Racing

Joe Nemechek and his Busch Series crew chief, Brian Pattie, were fined $5,000 apiece for using shock absorbers with stop nuts in last Saturday’s Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega, Ala.


The Indy Racing League opens its 1999 season at Walt Disney World Speedway in Florida on Jan. 24.

Names in the News

Texas A&M; point guard Brian Barone, whose father, Tony, was fired after seven seasons as coach, will transfer to Marquette. Barone will sit out the 1998-99 season and have two years of eligibility remaining. . . . Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal, 60, was resting comfortably in a hospital at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, one day after being treated for injuries in a highway accident. Doctors said X-rays indicated Marichal suffered no fractures and the the former San Francisco Giant star could be released in the next day or two. . . . Carlos Palomino, 48, a world welterweight champion who defended his title seven times before retiring in 1979, continues his comeback against world-rated Wilfredo Rivera on May 30 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. Palomino has recorded four victories since beginning his comeback Jan. 10, 1997.



The Southern Section Council voted to remove six Catholic high schools from public athletic leagues and place them in an all-Catholic league beginning with the 1999-2000 school year. Santa Ana Mater Dei, Fullerton Rosary, Santa Margarita, Anaheim Servite, La Verne Damien and Glendora St. Lucy’s are expected to form the new league.

The lawyer for the NCAA argued the organization should not face a large penalty for its antitrust violations regarding the limited-earnings rule it previously held for assistant coaches because schools often got around the rule to supplement coaches’ incomes. Alan Salpeter told a federal jury that many schools used loopholes to funnel money to assistant coaches above the $12,000 annual limit. A short time later, the 10-member federal court jury in Kansas City, Kan., prepared to begin deliberation on setting a penalty.