INDONESIA: WORLD CHAMPION BUDIARTO SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR
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November 16, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Sigit Budiarto of Indonesia, part of
the reigning world men's doubles champions in badminton, was suspended for
one year effective today by the International Badminton Federation. Budiarto's
suspension came after two urine samples taken from the world champion after
the Singapore Open championship in August tested positive for the banned
anabolic steroid Nandrolone.
A committee of the world association conducted a hearing in Singapore today
on the test results and received statements from a representative of the
drug-testing laboratory, Budiarto and representatives of the Indonesian
badminton association. The suspension was handed out after the committee
Budiarto was also fined 2,000 US dollars. Additionally, he and his partner
Chandra Wijaya were stripped of the Singapore Open championship and the duo
have to return the 10,000 US dollar purse that they won in Singapore.
Budiarto could have received a maximum two-year suspension. However, Budiarto
is reported to have stated that he did not know that medication he was taking
contained the banned substance. According to sources familiar with sports drug
cases, this as well as the fact that Budiarto was a first-time offender
weighed heavily in the committee's decision to suspend the player for only one
The lighter punishment means that Budiarto still has a chance to qualify for
the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where he would have been one of the
favorites for a medal. His one-year suspension ends on November 15, 1999. This
gives him 5 months to gain a world ranking high enough to get into the Olympic
In late 1995 and early 1996, it took Park Joo Bong, the great doubles player
from Korea, less than 4 months to climb to the top of the world rankings in
mixed doubles and thus qualify for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Park won a
silver medal in 1996 to add to his gold medal from the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Budiarto's 14,400 US dollar training grant from the Solidarity program of the
International Olympic Committee was not affected immediately by today's
suspension. The grant is not administered by the badminton federation. It is
expected though that the Olympic body will take action soon after today's
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