There appears to be no end to Gail Devers' remarkable, inspirational performances.
Only two years ago she was suffering from Graves' Disease, a life-threatening thyroid condition, and Devers never thought she would walk again because the illness had attacked her feet and nearly required amputation."I said, `Lord, just let me keep my feet again,"' said Devers, who shattered her American record and registered the second-fastest time in history, 6.95 seconds, in winning the 60-meter dash at the World Indoor Championships on Friday night.
While Devers was wowing the SkyDome crowd with her sizzling sprint effort, the ugly spectre of positive drug testing, which has undermined track and field in recent years, struck again.
Lyudmila Narozhilenko of Russia, the 1991 world indoor champion in the women's 60-meter hurdles, tested positive for a banned substance and faces a four-year suspension, a source said.
Narozhilenko's illegal substance was unknown, but it was learned that the positive test occurred Feb. 13 at Lievin, France, where Narozhilenko equalled her world record of 7.69 seconds.
She later lowered the record to 7.68 at San Sebastian, Spain, March 2, and to 7.66 and 7.63 at Seville, Spain, March 4.
Narozhilenko was to defend her title at the three-day championships, which began Friday.
In being suspended, Narozhilenko joins a long list of track and field stars who were banned from competition by the International Amateur Athletic Federation within the past five years for alleged drug violations. The group includes Ben Johnson, Butch Reynolds, Katrin Krabbe, Randy Barnes, Mark McKoy, Danny Harris, John Ngugi, Jim Doehring and Mike Stulce.
With Johnson banned for life last week after testing positive for a second time, Bruny Surin has replaced him as the No. 1 sprinter in Canada - and in the world indoors.
Surin, cheered loudly by his home crowd, surged across the finish line in 6.50, beating Frank Fredericks of Namibia by .01 second.
Stulce since has returned from his suspension and become an Olympic champion and world indoor champion in the shot put.
He and Doehring duplicated their 1-2 finish at Barcelona on Friday night, Stulce winning at 69 feet, 9 inches.