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Sports

Bernard takes bronze as Cielo wins 50m freestyle

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-30

Brazil's Cesar Cielo picked up his second gold at the world swimming championships in Shanghai on Saturday, winning the 50-metre freestyle race ahead of Italy's Luca Dotto and Alain Bernard of France.

AFP - Controversial swim star Cesar Cielo successfully defended his 50m freestyle world title in Shanghai Saturday as the sport's chiefs criticised doping rules after a case involving the Brazilian.

The Olympic champion and world record-holder's victory never looked in doubt as he surged down the Sea Crown stadium pool to touch in 21.52sec ahead of Italy's Luca Dotto and French swimmer Alain Bernard.

Also on Saturday, Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker upset a field including the world record-holder and defending champion to win the women's 50m butterfly and claim her first individual world title.

Dekker timed 25.71sec ahead of Therese Alshammar of Sweden, with France's Melanie Henique taking bronze and 2009 winner Marieke Guehrer dead last.

Cielo has been a contentious figure in Shanghai after escaping suspension on the eve of the championships despite testing positive for a banned diuretic earlier this year.

Whistles came from the crowd when Cielo appeared for the race and applause was muted after his win, which the Brazilian celebrated by punching the air and shaking hands with team-mate Bruno Fratus in the next lane.

Earlier, FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu criticised World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) rules and said athletes' anger over the case was understandable.

Some swimmers have expressed unhappiness at the ruling and Kenya's Jason Dunford gave the "thumbs-down" gesture after Cielo's earlier victory in the 50m butterfly.

Asked whether he could understand the response, Marculescu told AFP: "Yes, I do. Yes, it's normal. The people feel frustrated. What can I say?"

Marculescu said FINA would raise the case with WADA, complaining that revised guidelines had led to confusion among athletes and allegations of unfair treatment.

Cielo was represented in the case by Howard Jacobs, a leading American sports lawyer who previously defended US swimmer Jessica Hardy and disgraced athlete Marion Jones.

"It's very complicated. In the past it was simple... you have the substance, it's your problem with how it gets in your body," Marculescu said.

"Today the new code is like going to the civil court: you have a good lawyer and you are out. You have a bad lawyer, you are in."

The swimming body has now approved a pilot project to create "biological passports" by storing the results of blood tests to detect suspicious variations.

 

Date created : 2011-07-30

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