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Bad Badita's Ban Protested -- August 31, 2000

BUCHAREST, Romania, August 31. THE Romanian Swimming Federation (FRN) is appealing a ban by FINA on individual medley star, Cezar Badita, 21, who tested positive for nandralone in May.

Badita rocketed to the top levels of the men's rankings this spring with several unrested 4:20 performances in the 400 IM, topped by his 4:19.42 at the European Championships. The time ranks him 12th in the world. He also ranks 15th in the 200 IM with his 2:02.44, also swum at the European Champs.

"Badita was tested twice in 24 hours: the first test was positive, while the second was negative. This is impossible, because nandralone is not a substance that disappears in 24 hours," said FRN Secretary-General, Dan Ionescu.

"We are hoping to receive a positive response to our appeal so that Badita can compete in the Olympics. In our opinion he is innocent," added Ionescu.