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Two Scots Withdraw From Games

July 23, 2002

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) _ Scotland’s weightlifting squad manager has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games team because of an investigation into allegations that he helped competitors buy performance-enhancing drugs.

Jim Ferguson met officials of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland (CGCS) in Edinburgh on Monday after a press report in the Sunday Mail, which also alleged that weightlifting coach John McNiven, who is Ferguson’s assistant, had failed a secret drugs test.

While the CGCS decided there was no issue with McNiven, because of the publicity surrounding the newspaper report he has decided to withdraw from the Scotland team along with Ferguson.

``CGCS take matters of this nature very seriously and have formally requested that Sunday Mail make the tapes available to them in order that they can make a full and thorough investigation into the allegations,″ the Scottish team said in a statement.

Although nothing has been proved against the two Scottish team officials, the allegations come with the Games still reeling from the suspension of English pole vaulter Janine Whitlock following a positive test for a banned steroid.

Whitlock, who was considered a likely medal prospect after recently setting her 36th British record, tested positive for methandienone _ marketed as Dianabol _ and faces a two-year ban if found guilty. She says she is innocent and is awaiting results of her ‘B’ sample but UK Athletics has suspended her from competition pending the outcome.

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