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Hurdler Larry Wade Withdraws From Trials

July 16, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Hurdler Larry Wade withdrew from the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on Friday because of a broken arm, a spokeswoman for the sport’s national governing body said.

Wade’s withdrawal from the 110-meter hurdles came less than a day after a source told The Associated Press that he had tested positive for a steroid earlier this year.

Wade’s agent, Emanuel Hudson, told USA Track & Field that the hurdler was injured in a workout on Thursday, USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer said.

The event’s qualifying heats are Saturday, with the semifinals and finals on Sunday, the last day of the trials.

Hudson did not return telephone calls from the AP.

Wade’s career has been plagued by injuries and illness. His training for the 2000 Olympics was sidetracked when he was injured in a car accident. He underwent surgery to remove fluid from around his heart, then made a comeback but finished fifth at the trials and didn’t make the Sydney team.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said an out-of-competition test was positive for the steroid norandrostone.

However, only the ``A″ sample had been tested, and a positive ``B″ sample was necessary before the athlete would be accused of a doping violation, the source said.

Another source with knowledge of the case, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Wade sent the required explanation for the test to the International Association of Amateur Federations but had not heard back.

Both sources said Wade’s case was in the early stages.

The Chicago Tribune first reported Wade’s positive test on Thursday night.

Four-time world champion Allen Johnson said Friday that it was unfair for Wade’s case to be leaked to the public at such an early stage in the process.

The 29-year-old Wade is the third-fastest hurdler in the world this year, behind Johnson and China’s Liu Xiang. Wade, the 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist, beat Johnson this year in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.

The IAAF said it could not confirm or deny the reports.

``At this point we can’t comment,″ IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

Rich Wannager, spokesman for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, also had no comment.

Wade is the second athlete from the HSInternational group to have a positive test made public in two days. The IAAF confirmed Thursday that Torri Edwards, the second-place finisher in the 100 in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, tested positive for a banned stimulant.

Edwards, speaking to The Associated Press and reporters from five newspapers Thursday, said the stimulant nikethamide was in glucose she took because she wasn’t feeling well at a meet in Martinique in April.

She said she thought she was taking only glucose and was unaware that it contained the stimulant as an additive. Edwards’ case goes before a U.S. arbitration panel in Orange County on Monday.

If either the IAAF or Edwards doesn’t like the panel’s ruling, it to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, where the decision is binding.

Wade’s case is far from the hearing stage. If the ``B″ test is positive, the athlete, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USATF would be notified by letter.

Still, the reports of positive tests this week add to an atmosphere at the U.S. trials shrouded by talk of performance-enhancing drug use in the sport.

Four track athletes, including 100 world record-holder Tim Montgomery, face possible lifetime bans after being accused by USADA of drug offenses. The four have not tested positive, but are accused based on information gathered in the criminal probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative in Burlingame, Calif. All four have denied the charges, and all failed to make the U.S. team at the trials.

Two other athletes, sprinter Calvin Harrison and distance runner Regina Jacobs, tested positive for banned substances. Harrison finished seventh in the 400 on Thursday, the same day Jacobs announced her retirement from the sport.

Update hourly