Sydney: Former Olympic 5,000 metres champion Dieter Baumann of Germany was banned for two years on Monday after failing a drugs test.
International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) spokesman Giorgio Reineri said an arbitration panel, which met in Sydney at the weekend, had overturned the German federation's decision to clear Baumann.
Baumann, 35, tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone last November but was exonerated by the German federation after claiming his toothpaste had been spiked.
The 1992 5,000 metres gold medallist in Barcelona has been training in Brisbane for the Sydney Games and appeared in person before the panel on Saturday. He had been scheduled to run in the 10,000 metres.
An IAAF statement said the ban would run from September 16, the final day of the arbitration hearing, until January 21, 2002. "The period of ineligibility will commence from the date of the hearing with a deduction of any period of suspension the athlete served prior to the arbitration decision," the statement said.
Reineri said the panel concluded Baumann had committed a doping offence."The panel considered there was not enough evidence to support Baumann's claim that the toothpaste had been contaminated," Reineri said.
Britons Linford Christie, Doug Walker and Gary Cadogan have also been banned for two years by the IAAF after positive tests for nandrolone.Christie won the 100 metres at the 1992 Barcelona Games while Walker is the European 200 champion. Cadogan is a former international 400 metres hurdler.
Another British sprinter, Commonwealth 400 metres silver medallist Mark Richardson, had been scheduled to have his nandrolone case heard by the panel but decided to withdraw from the Games to give himself more time to prepare his defence.
On Tuesday the IAAF council is to recommend sending the doping case of Ukrainian shot putter Aleksandr Bagach to the panel. Bagach, the 1996 Olympic bronze medallist, tested positive for steroids this year but was cleared by the Ukrainian federation.
He seems certain to miss the shotput final on Friday's opening day of the athletics programme as the council invariably accepts its committee's recommendations and a panel cannot be convened for several weeks.Bagach has tested positive twice before for drugs and faces a life ban if the panel overturns the Ukrainian federation's decision.
(c) Reuters Limited.