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More Positive Drug Tests at Pan Am

August 8, 1999

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) _ A Cuban weightlifting gold medalist and two Mexican baseball players tested positive for banned substances at the Pan American Games.

Games officials said Sunday that William Vargas, winner in the 136.4-pound weightlifting class, and baseball players Roberto Vizcarra and Hector Alvarez tested positive for Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid.

Six athletes have tested positive for drugs at these games.

The others, all gold medalists, were Steve Vezina, the goalie on Canada’s in-line roller hockey team, and high jumpers Javier Sotomayor of Cuba, the men’s indoor and outdoor world record-holder and 1992 Olympic champion, and Juana Rosario Arrendel of the Dominican Republic.

In addition, Mexican baseball player Ray Martinez refused to be tested, which was tantamount to testing positive.

Mario Vazquez Rana, president of the Pan American Sports Organization, said another athlete, whom he did not identify, tested positive. Reportedly, he is weightlifter Hidalberto Aranda of Cuba, the only athlete to set a world record at the games.

An announcement was expected later Sunday.

With Vargas stripped of his gold medal, Barrio Hernandez of Columbia moves up from second place for the gold. The silver medal will go to Jiminez Lopez of Guatemala and the bronze to Legrand Sakamaki of the United States.

The tests on Vargas and Vizcarra resulted in positives on the A and B samples, Vazquez Rana said. However, the test on Alvarez was positive only on the A sample, and the chief of mission of the Mexican delegation accepted that result, refusing the right to have the B sample checked, Vazquez Rana said.

Mexico finished fourth in the Pan Ams baseball tournament.

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