PHOENIX, Arizona, June 17. THOUGH pre-world championship competition was the order of the weekend, the big news that surfaced was the three-month ban by Danish swimmer Mads Glaesner for taking a cold medication that contained a banned substance in the United States version. Initially, the ban, which began March 19 of this year, meant two things: Glaesner's bronze medal in the 400 free at last December's world championships was taken away, as the positive drug test came from that event. It also meant Glaesner was unable to compete in the Danish nationals in late March, which was the country's world championship trials meet. But today, FINA chimed in and said Glaesner's gold medal in the 1500 free from short course worlds was also to be returned, and Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri is now world champion. Glaesner trains at the University of Southern California with Dave Salo's postgrad training group, a squad that has seen more than its share of woes with doping violations.
On the weekend Glaesner's doping ban was being announced, two female Danish swimmers were looking good at the Canet stop of the Mare Nostrum tour. Jeanette Ottesen Gray was making a case that she is on target to defend her shared world championship title in the 100 freestyle with a 54.01 for a respectable in-season swim and is now sixth in the world with the time. She also maintained her spot as the fastest in the world in the 50 fly, which is swum at the world championships, with a 25.56 and could be a contender in the 100 fly as well. Rikke Moller Pedersen is second-fastest in the world right now with a 1:06.05 in the 100 breast, putting herself into the mix of what is likely to be a battle for silver in the event in Barcelona.
After battling illness in Barcelona, Chad Le Clos bounced back to swim fast in the 200 fly in Canet, posting a 1:55.40 for second in the world. South Africans collected two other wins, with Cameron van der Burgh winning the 100 breast and Roland Schoeman taking the 50 butterfly.
Like she did in the 400 free on the first day of the Sette Colli meet in Rome, Camille Muffat cemented her status as the fastest 200 freestyler in the world on Sunday with a 1:56.01. She has been faster than that in 2013, but no one else has so far, with the USA Swimming world championship trials set for next week.
The French Open in a couple of weeks will round out the prep meets various countries will use for racing at the world championships. In the meantime, we're getting ready for the USA Swimming world championship trials, which begins in eight days, and the British selection meet, which starts in nine days.
Over in water polo news, Serbia has won a seventh title in the FINA world league tournament, taking the final 12-7 over Hungary. The Serbs were dominant throughout, never losing their lead and giving the team confidence going into the world championships, where they will try to improve on their silver medal from 2011. The United States lost the bronze medal match against Montenegro 13-11 in the shootout rounds. Water polo competition begins in Barcelona at the world championships on July 22 for the men.