Backwash features short clips, gossip, letters and opinions. Contributions are welcome.
Absent from the Russian European Championship Trials, held in Moscow mid May, Alexander Popov was given an automatic spot on the Russian team. He is still in preparation for his return to international competition next August in Sevilla, Spain at the European Championships. He expects to swim at the Santa Clara International in early July. Meanwhile his wife Daria is expecting their first child, due in late fall.
Investigations into last year's scandal of falsified Olympic qualification times were completed recently in Budapest by the police. Two Hungarian Swimming Association officers have been charged - Jozsef Ruza, secretary-general, and Peter Hauer - with falsifying documents and acquiring illicit economic adavantages.
Based on the results of a fake competition, six of the swimmers on the Hungarian Olympic team travelled to Atlanta having never swum the required qualification times. An interesting detail uncovered by the investigation was that five other swimmers were apparently submitted as entries to the Olympics, although the swimmers themselves were unaware of this fact and did not even go to Atlanta. The Hungarians, on the basis of the inflated swimming team, secured accommodation and accrediation for a greater number of non-sports officials.
The scandal broke last August after the Hungarian member of the International Swimming Statisticians Association noticed the fake times in the world rankings on the SWIMNEWS web site. He alerted local newspapers and the rest is history. Tamas Gyarfas, president of the Hungarian Association subsequently resigned, although his resignation was later withdrawn. Ruza refused to resign at the time.
A trial date has yet to be set.
Just a quick note to let your readers know that I will be on maternity leave from May 16 until November 17.
Anyone requiring anything at all during this time, please feel free to contact Debby Wilson or James Hood at our office.
The new bundle is expected in early June.
Penny successfully delivered a 7 lb 5 oz baby boy at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 31. Both mother and son, Mackenzie Gordon, are doing well and are on their way home on June 2.
Due to a motorcycle accident in mid-May, German freestyler Franziska van Almsich has had to bow out of competition for the summer.
The 19 year old injured her hand and was forced to undergo reparative surgery in Munich. Unable to train, she announced that her 1997 season was over, but specified, "Don't think I won't be back. I'll go on to Sydney 2000 and I plan to bring back some medals." She still expects to compete in Perth next January.
During June some of the coaches, doctors, and officials of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) were called to testify for their part in that country's state-organized doping of underage athletes. While no names of those accused will be released before the proceedings, it is suspected that a number of prominent swimming coaches from Berlin will be required to take the stand. Investigations headed by the city attorney Rudy Hillebrandt have focussed on those who were responsible for circulating and distributing harmful anabolic susbstances to minors without their prior consent.
As a results of an incident at the 1995 European Championships in Vienna, Eric de Bruin, the Dutch husband and coach of quadruple Olympic medallist Michelle Smith of Ireland, may not be granted accreditaion for the European Championships in Sevilla.
The European Swimming League (LEN) has apparently requested an explanation for his behaviour in the doping control room after one of Smith's races in Vienna-de Bruin had a falsified accreditation badge claiming he was Belgian, and proceeded to mark up the doping control form with comments regarding the sloppiness of the control procedures-in Dutch. It remains to be seen if he will explain such odd behaviour, or if Smith will even compete in Spain.
In response to Darlene Medaglia's letter on tooth decay specifically among competitive swimmers, which appeared in your SWIMNEWS (#227, April 1997). I searched my files for any references on the subject. The major one that she might refer her dentist to is:
Centerwall, B.S. et al (1986). Erosion of dental enamel among competitive swimmers at a gas chlorinated swimming pool. American Journal of Epidemiology, 123(4), April, pp 641-647.
There are several studies that have linked tooth decay or damage to over-chlorinated pool water that have been written up in Dental Journals and Health Letters. A very good resource for further and more recent information would be to contact the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) located in Ottawa - Phone (613) 748-5658, Fax (613) 748-5701.
John M. Hogg, Ph.D., Professor,
Faculty of Physical Education and Rec.
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
I just received my issue of SWIMNEWS (#227, April 1997). I did not have time to read much but this time Backwash is in the exact middle and it fell open there. As I always read Backwash I did so and was interested to read the letter from a mother inquiring about tooth enamel. Some years ago my daughter had serious lectures from her dentist about smoking. This was most annoying to her since she did not smoke, and the dentist did not believe her because of the staining on her teeth. Some years later we read an article in the Toronto Star which talked about the staining of teeth that happens with some swimmers. I copied the article. It did not talk about loss of tooth enamel, but the same research group may also have done other studies concerning loss of enamel and parents might want to follow this up.
The article in question appeared on Saturday, Nov.11, 1985 on page K10.
We have long enjoyed SWIM Magazine and now enjoy SWIMNEWS even more. The web page is fantastic. It was great to visit the site just after NCAAs and see results - now I will read the article that goes with those results in the magazine. I had attended the four previous women's NCAA championships and this time was thrilled to see that some of the long- standing dynasties have fallen. This must have been a very exciting meet to attend. It certainly shows that nobody can get complacent at the top. Thank you for such good and up-to-date news.
Thank you very much for having published my interview. A great deal of people from the Brazilian swimming scene have congratulated me on the contents. I pass the congratulations right on to you and Karin Helmstaedt, who wrote about it.
I believe it is very important to talk about the way women are treated within the Brazilian swimming arena. As far as the plans for the swimming centre, things are going great. We have decided to build it in a bigger city, near Florianopolis. It will be swimming only and we are very excited about the prospects for sponsorship. So, as you can see, I'm on the right track to help shape a new generation of swimmers in Brazil, with special attention to girls!
We will keep in touch to let you know of our progress. Maybe you can come over to Brazil to the grand opening of Fernando Scherer's swimming centre.
Best regards from your grateful Brazilian friend,
Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied