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  Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Szabo withdraws boycott threat
Szabo celebrates her 1500m triumph
Szabo is seeking to add to her 1500m title
New 1500m champion Gabriela Szabo has withdrawn her threat to boycott Thursday's 5,000m heats at the World Athletics Championships.

Szabo, defending Olympic and World 5,000m champion, said earlier in the week that she would not race if Olga Yegorova, who failed a drugs test last month, were allowed to take part.

World indoor 3,000m champion Yegorova tested positive for the blood-boosting drug erythropoietin (EPO) at the Paris Golden League meeting.

But she was cleared last week to compete in Edmonton because the test did not conform to International Olympic Committee specifications.


I want to prove I am not afraid of the Russian runner
Gabriela Szabo

Szabo said: "I met with my coach and my manager after the 1500 run and we decided to that it is better to run the 5000.

"I am going to run for all my fans. Many people have encouraged me to run.

"People on the streets talk with me and say 'please run in the 5,000'. I would have taken the same decision if I was not the winner in the 1500."

But Szabo denied that she was angry with the IAAF decision to allow Yegorova to compete.

She added: "Of course I am not angry. Why would I be? If I do not compete in the 5000, in a few months the people will forget what happened and will only remember the winner.

"It was a very emotional decision for me. I wanted to let people know that I was never afraid of the Russian. Now I want to prove I am not afraid of the Russian runner."

The Romanian defending champion threatened last week to pull out of the 5,000 if Yegorova was allowed to compete.

Further tests

Meanwhile, Yegorova has undergone another out-of-competition IAAF test.

She is one of seven to 10 athletes whose results of doping tests undertaken in Edmonton show red-blood-cell results outside normal parameters.

Arne Ljungqvst, chairman of the IAAF medical commission, confirmed that Yegorova would undergo a further test.

"You can get these abnormal concentrations for other reasons. These are borderline values," he said.

"It's not necessarily a reason for going ahead of course, but for her we must make sure because of the tests in Paris."


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