In The Irish News - May 19 1998: Michelle de Bruin asks for second sample testing

Irish Olympic swimming champion Michelle De Bruin angrily rejected drugs allegations made against her by FINA and pledged to fight the charges all the way to protect her good name - and that of Ireland
The irish News Archive

MICHELLE De Bruin, under investigation for allegedly tampering with a drug test, has requested a second analysis of her urine sample.

Gunnar Werner, secretary of FINA, said yesterday that De Bruin’s lawyer sent a fax to the governing body over the weekend asking for the B sample of Smith’s test to be examined.

De Bruin underwent an out-of-competition test on January 10 in Kilkenny.

FINA said the A sample showed “unequivocal signs of adulteration” and “physical manipulation.”

Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the International Olympic Committee medical commission, said the sample included a lethal concentration of alcohol. He said alcohol could be used to mask the presence of banned drugs.

Urine specimens are divided into ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples.

FINA had given De Bruin until yesterday to request a testing of the B sample.

Werner said the backup sample will be opened and analysed later this week at the same IOC-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, Spain, where the first specimen was tested.

If the finding is the same as the A sample, FINA will refer the case to its doping panel for a hearing in late June, said Werner.

“If it does not confirm the A sample, then the case is over with and Michelle De Bruin is cleared,” he said.

BALLYMENA & Antrim sprinter Paul Brizzell advanced his European Championship claims with a 100m and 200m double at the GV Ryan meeting in Dublin at the weekend.

The 21-year-old won the 100m in 10.55 and then dealt out something of a hammering to Atlanta Olympian Gary Ryan in the 200m when clocking 20.81. Second-placed Gary was some distance back in 21.19.

Brizzell’s scalps in the 100m included national champion Neil Ryan who was .18 behind the northerner.

Unfortunately Brizzell’s 200m time won’t be recognised as a personal best and a European championship qualifying time as the following wind was 2.1 metres per second - an agonising .1 over the legal limit.

His personal best, set last season, is 20.95 but Brizzell is confident that mark will be considerably lowered in the coming weeks.

THIS week’s Commonwealth Games trial bouts have provoked confusion, disbelief and rage in varying degrees.

Yesterday it was the turn of the placid Tyrone coach, John Heagney, to make his feelings known in the interests of his Ulster senior light heavyweight champion, Tommy Donnelly.

He wants an assurance from the Ulster Council that the vastly experienced Donnelly will get what he deserves, and that World bronze medalist Steven Kirk will be ordered to face him with a Games place as the winner’s prize.

Heagney is far from happy at what he sees as the confusion surrounding Friday’s Games bouts in the Quality Hotel in Carrickfergus - sentiments echoed recently by others in the amateur sport.

TEENAGE starlets Robbie Keane and Damien Duff will both play for the Republic of Ireland against Mexico at Lansdowne Road on Saturday. Wolves forward Keane has recovered from an ankle injury, while Blackburn midfielder Duff has received treatment on a groin problem.

Both missed out on the Republic’s 2-0 victory over Greece in the UEFA Youth Championship qualifying match in Dublin last Thursday. But they are now ready for promotion to the senior squad, with manager Mick McCarthy guaranteeing the duo will play at some stage of the match.

“Robbie did very well when he made his debut in our 2-0 defeat by Argentina in Dublin last month,” said McCarthy. “And it seems the perfect occasion for Damien to win his first cap.”

Mexico have qualified for the World Cup finals, in which they have been grouped with Belgium, Holland and South Korea, and the clash with the Republic will be their final fixture before they travel to France.

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