European 200m butterfly champion Yiannis Drymonakos has tested positive for a steroid, the Greek Swimming Federation (KOE) has revealed. If confirmed, it would explain the swimmer's trasformation in the water of late. And, if confirmed, the good news is: he will not be in Beijing to muddy the water.
'The Greek anti-doping agency informed us today that the B sample of the athlete, whose A sample had been found irregular, was found equally so in tests undertaken on May 20 to the substance methyltrienolone,' the federation said in a statement. 'The athlete tested (positive on March 6) is swimmer Yiannis Drymonakos.'
Drymonakos has been called to a meeting with the board of KOE on Wednesday, May 28, it said. Methyltrienolone is a banned steroid. Drymonakos claimed the European crown in the 200m butterfly and silver in the 400m medley in Eindhoven in March. If his results are cancelled, the sheet will read:
And the same Austrian swimmer benefits from Manchester 2008, and the world short-course championships:
'With the swimmer's two samples having tested positive, he now faces a ban and his place on the Olympic team is in question,' a spokesman for the Greek Olympic Committee said. 'But for any swimmer to be taken off the Olympic team we have to receive such an order from the swimming federation. It is the swimming federation that decides who will be on the Olympic swimming team and not us.' Perhaps, yon chiefs of the home of the Olympic Movement, it is time to play a keener hands-on role, assuming, as we must, that the Hellenic OC would wish to ensure that it fields a clean team come the big moment. If this result is confirmed, the men in Greek Olympic blazers will doubtless wish to be on the front-line announcing to the world: 'He's ours, he's filthy but we banish him for cheating, for robbing others of their rightful place and for heaping shame on Greece and sport.' I'd be happy to write them a speech should they find the task too taxing.
And when they have finished talking about the swimmer, they might then tell us what investigative measures are being take. Where is the coach? Where is the supplier? How many others from the same group might have followed the same path? And so on and so forth. We look forward to news of serious effort beyond all lights being trained on a swimmer who is unlikely to have acted in isolation.
The positive test of the swimmer follows the announcement on Tuesday that 11 weightlifters, who tested positive in March, and former national weightlifting coach Christos Iacovou, are among 25 people facing doping charges.