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FINA says Chinese swimmers are dope-free

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Despite mounting speculation that some Chinese women swimmers have been boosted by performance-enhancing drugs, FINA, the sport's world governing body, announced today that all 169 tests at this month's World Championships were negative.

Chinese swimmers won 12 of the 16 events for women and set five world records in Rome. Riled by the drug-taking allegations, they said their performances were the result of top-class coaching and hard work in training.

Critics say, however, that FINA is hampered by being unable to test swimmers at 24-hour notice because it often has to obtain visas before entering their country. The often lengthy delay caused by waiting for visas takes away the element of surprise and swimmers who may have been taking drugs are clean by the time they are tested.

Wrenn leads at Hardees Classic

COAL VALLEY, Ill. - Robert Wrenn, a self-described "good mudder," overcame rain and cold and a first-hole bogey Thursday to shoot a 7-under-par 63 in the opening round of the Hardees Classic.

He matched the tournament's opening-round record and took a two-stroke lead over Doug Tewell and Neal Lancaster.

Mark Calcavecchia, Bob Estes, Mark McCumber, Gil Morgan and Mark Brooks were three strokes back.

Magic sign Brian Shaw

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Magic signed former Miami Heat guard Brian Shaw on Thursday, their second free-agent acquisition this week. Horace Grant, a former All-Star power forward from the Chciago Bulls, signed Monday.

"In three days we've added 131 games of playoff experience," said John Gabriel, the Magic's vice president of basketball operations.

The 6-foot-6 guard signed a one-year contract for a reported $682,500. He became a free agent in July after playing 2 1/2 seasons with Miami.


Utah cowboy to compete at world finals event

PHOENIX - Utah cowboy Chad Bedell of Jensen has qualified to compete in the Original Coors Rodeo Showdown, a world finals event to be held Oct. 7-9 at America West Arena. Bedell, the only Utahn to qualify, will compete in steer wrestling.

He'll join 79 cowboys and cowgirls from 15 states in the Showdown, which is the $1 million finals of the Original Coors Chute Out series held at 58 sanctioned rodeos throughout the country. In the sudden-death competition, each athlete competes in three rounds of preliminary competition, with the top six moving to the semifinal round and top four from there to the finals.

Cromwell reaches USGA Senior Am quarterfinals

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Ken Cromwell of Ogden advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 40th USGA Senior Amateur Championship on Thursday.

In the second round, Cromwell defeated Paul Kramer, Franklin Lakes, N.J., 3 and 2. He defeated John Guenther, Wyomissing, Pa., 20 holes, in the third round.