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Drug Accusations Dismissed -- October 22, 1997

SHANGHAI, CHINA - Guo Qinglong, president of the Chinese Swimming Association, defended world records set by swimmers at the Chinese National Games on Sunday, hours after Australian coach Don Talbot said he had no doubt the Chinese were using drugs. Guo called suggestions of drug use a "fabricated rumor," the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday. "China will as always support the anti-doping campaign," Guo said. Two Chinese swimmers, Chen Yan and Wu Yanyan, set world records in the 400m and 200m IM's last week. The swimmers also set eight Asian records. Guo said Chinese government support has been crucial. He noted that more than 7,000 pools have been built in the past 20 years and 10,000 children are involved in rigorous training programs. "We can choose talents from such a big group of youngsters," Guo told Xinhua. Outstanding performances by Chinese women runners and swimmers at the National Games four years ago raised suspicions of drug use. Those misgivings seemed well-founded when 11 swimmers failed drug tests at the Asian Games in 1994. Guo said Chinese swimmers are looking forward to competing in Talbot's home country, at the 1998 World Championships in Perth, Australia and at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.