Member of international body criticizes lifting Foschi's ban


Reacting to U.S. Swimming's decision to reverse a two-year sanction against Jessica Foschi, a member of swimming's international governing body yesterday criticized the action.

Harm Beyer, a FINA official, said the decision to give Foschi, 15, of Old Brookville, N.Y., a two-year probation instead of a ban leaves many questions as to what will happen next.

"To be polite, it is a disastrous decision," Beyer told the Los Angeles Times from his home in Hamburg, Germany. "I think the bureau [FINA] will be concerned when they see the result of the American way of handling the matter."

The decision was announced Friday night after U.S. Swimming's board of directors rescinded its 10-day-old ban of Foschi, who tested positive for an anabolic steroid at last summer's U.S. nationals in Pasadena, Calif.

Foschi is cleared to compete at the U.S. Olympic trials March 6-12 in Indianapolis, but that could change depending on the response from FINA and the U.S. Olympic Committee this week.

Beyer, speaking for himself and not FINA, said even if Foschi qualifies for the Olympics, FINA could reject her entry.

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