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Day 7: Drugs Cloud the Games
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Doping scandals cast a long shadow over the Athens Olympics as an Indian weightlifter and a shot putter from Uzbekistan were booted out of the Games on Friday following positive drug tests.

Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis, a bronze medalist in 62kg class Monday, tested positive for a banned substance in his "A" sample.

If his "B" sample turns out positive, he will be the first Athens medalist to be stripped of medal and kicked out.

India's Sanamacha Chanu and Uzbekistan's Olga Shchukina were expelled by the International Olympic Committee executive board on Friday.

Chanu, who came fourth in Sunday's women's 53kg weightlifting, tested positive for furosemide, a banned diuretic.

Shchukina, last in her qualifying group in Wednesday's shot put at Ancient Olympia, tested positive in last Saturday's check for the steroid clenbuterol.

Chanu was the sixth weightlifter, and second from India, expelled from the Olympics. Kenyan boxer David Munyasia was earlier kicked out after flunking a pre-games check.

The Games opened with a high-profile doping scandal as Greek heroes Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were withdrawn for missing a drugs test.

Drugs aside, the Olympics saw a highly competitive day as the United States nailed the top ranking on the medal tally with its prodigy Michael Phelps lifting his fifth gold and three world records tumbled in cycling and weightlifting.

Adding three golds for the day, the United States tops with 17 golds. China, front-runner for six days, has secured 16 golds as Zhang Yining and Wang Nan won the women's table tennis doubles and Chinese swept the final berths for the women's badminton doubles.

Japan remains third with 12 golds including eight from the 14-event judo.

The 19-year-old Phelps got his fifth gold in Athens - his seventh medal - by winning the 100m butterfly in an Olympic record of 51.25 seconds, 0.04 clear of teammate and world record holder Ian Crocker, who picked the silver.

Gary Hall won the U.S. second swimming gold for the night, out-touching Croatian Duje Draganja by one-hundredth of a second to take the men's 50m freestyle in 21.93.

Zimbabwe ended its Athens gold drought thanks to Kirsty Coventry, who touched home first in 1:07.11 in the women's 200m backstroke.

Japan pocketed a surprise gold from the women's 800 freestyle final, where Ai Shibata made a late surge to beat Laure Manaudou of France for a winning time of 8:24.54.

Russia, first overall in the 1992 Olympics and twice second in 1996 and 2000, is languishing in fifth with five golds, including two won Friday.

Russia defeated Germany 34-28 to take the women's epee team crown and compatriot Lioubov Galkina grabbed the women's 50m rifle3 position gold.

Matthew Emmons shot down the men's rifle prone gold, the Americans' second in the sport.

Japan swept the last two judo titles with Maki Tsukada triumphing in the women's 78kg class and Keiji Suzuki winning the men's 100kg.

South Korea lifted two golds from archery and badminton.

As defending champion, South Korea released a 10-point shot on its last arrow to nail a 241-240 narrow triumph over China in the women's archery team final.

This victory means that South Korea has clean-swept all the women's golds since the 1984 Olympics and all the women's team titles since 1988.

Kim Dong-moon and Ha Tae-kwon won an all-South Korean final in the men's badminton, beating Lee Dong Soo and Yoo Yong Sun 15-11, 15-4.

South Koreans Ra Kyung Min and Lee Kyung Won, the only non-Chinese duo in the women's badminton semifinals, lost Friday and an all-Chinese title clash will take place Saturday.

In table tennis, Chinese second seeds Wang Nan and Zhang Yining rolled over third-seeded South Koreans Lee Eun Sil and Seok Eun Mi11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 for the gold.

Thailand's Pawina Thongsuk lifted a total of 272.5kg to set a new world record and win the women's 75kg weightlifting gold.

Natalia Zabolotnaia of Russia, 19, who snatched 122.5kg for a new world mark, had to settle for a silver.

A world record was also created in velodrome, where Anna Mearesof Australia won women's 500m time trial in 33.952 seconds, beating the previous world standard of 34.000 and finishing ahead of Chinese Jiang Yonghua.

British cyclist Chris Hoy took the men's 1km time trial in 1:00.711, a new Olympic record.

On the second day of athletics, former world 50km walk champion Ivano Brugnetti won the men's 20km event in 1:19:40.

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele kicked away in the last lap to win the men's 10,000m in 27:05.10, leaving his idol Haile Gebrselassie in fifth place.

In canoe and kayak, Slovakia's Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner nabbed the men's C2 canoe pair top honor and Benoit Peschier of France landed the men's K1 kayak gold.

In trampoline's only second Olympic appearance, Anna Dogonadze took Germany's fifth gold in Athens.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2004)

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