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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
French sprinter banned
Christophe Cheval has been banned for two years by the French Athletics Federation after testing positive for nandrolone at the World Athletics Championships, last month.

The FFA's disciplinary commission ruled that Cheval would not be eligible to compete again until 12 August 2003, said Dominique Tarayre, a federation spokesman.

The 30-year-old tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone in two urine tests last month.

The International Association of Athletics Federations temporarily suspended Cheval after the first sample came back positive.

It left the decision of whether the athlete should face a two-year suspension - the standard penalty for the offense - to the FFA.

Cheval had refuted the claims, insisting that he had taken a food supplement at the championships and that the labelling on the product made no mention of a banned substance.

Cheval had provided a negative urine sample before travelling to the World Championships, but under IAAF rules athletes must provide two samples if asked.

If the 'A' sample shows traces of a banned substance the 'B' sample is also analysed.

Several high-level athletes have tested positive for nandrolone in recent seasons, the best known being Algeria's Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Ali Saidi-Sief.

He was stripped of the 5,000m silver medal he won in Edmonton after testing positive on the day of his final there, but he continues to protest his innocence.

See also:

14 Aug 01 |  Athletics
Shot putter banned for life
17 Aug 01 |  Athletics
Edmonton medallist fails drugs test
11 Aug 01 |  World Athletics
Two more athletes fail drug tests
09 Aug 01 |  World Athletics
Radcliffe makes placard protest
08 Aug 01 |  Our man at Edmonton
New questions over Yegorova
Links to more Athletics stories are at the foot of the page.


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