Dopey behaviour

 

Three athletes, including the shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach, have been disqualified after testing positive for ephedrine, the banned stimulant. The Ukrainian is joined by Pascal Maran, a French 400 metres hurdler, and Oxana Zelinskaya, a triple jumper from Tajikistan.

The gold medal and £45,000 first prize in the shot is now awarded to John Godina, the 1995 champion who had finished three centimetres behind Bagach's winning effort of 21.47 metres last Saturday.

Under the new rules adopted by the IAAF last week, none of the three athletes will be suspended. They have been given a public warning and their results annulled. It means Bagach will be able to compete in Zurich, the richest Grand Prix meeting on the circuit, next Wednesday in a big-money showdown with Godina.

After completing doping control here, Bagach had said: "This is my sixth test of the year. It doesn't matter because the beer is free." He is probably now reflecting on the most expensive mistake of his career.