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Swimming News

Jan 22, 1997  - Nick Thierry

Kieren Perkins will not compete at this year's Pan Pacific Championships in August, in Fukuoka, JPN. Perkins, recently married is back in training and is aiming at the 1998 World Championships in January of next year and ultimately the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Ryan Mitchell's recent short course 200 breaststroke time of 2:07.66, which bettered the existing world record of Philip Rogers 2:07.80, both from Australia, will NOT be ratified by FINA. Mitchell was disqualified in the prelims of the 200 breaststroke at the Australian SC Championships in Melbourne, last December. Australian Swimming allowed him a solo time trial, but this contrevenes FINA rule 12.4.

Fifty former East German sport leaders, medical personnel and coaches are being prosecuted sometime during 1997 for conspiring against the physical integrity of their athletes by the use of banned drugs. Four sports are being targeted: swimming, cycling, track and field and weight lifting. 20 athletes have made depositions against their former coaches for forced steroid use.

Finnish swimmer Jani Sievinen recently signed a personale sponsorship deal with four Finnish companies who have pledged to support him in his quest for Olympic gold in Sydney 2000. Sievinen took three months off after a disappointing Olympics in Atlanta, saying he needed the rest both mentally and physically. "It was difficult to get started again," he said, "but since December I've been training seriously again. I've still got one more job to do at the Olympics."

Sievinen is devoting this year to the European Championships in Sevilla, in August, and does not plan any further short course appearances. He's competing at the Espoo, leg of the FINA World Cup, January 22-23.