An article in a recent issue of the national newspaper Sovietsky Sport focused on drug problems among athletes in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. Although it gave little indication of how widespread the problem is nationwide, the article was a rare disclosure of drug violations by athletes.
The newspaper account cited the case of Igor Papshev, a two-time national swimming champion. Papshev admitted using steroids for three years, beginning at age 19, at the encouragement of his coach, Oleg V. Soloviev.
Sovietsky Sport said the Papshev incident was hushed up until a scandal involving another pupil of Soloviev's. Olga Travnikova was on her way to compete in a championship in West Germany when a test revealed steroids, the newspaper said. Her trip was canceled and she was kicked off the team . . .
Swiss runner Sandra Gasser has filed an appeal with the International Amateur Athletic Federation seeking to overturn sanctions imposed on her Sept. 29. The IAAF banned Gasser for two years from competition and revoked her bronze medal in the women's 1,500 meters at last summer's World Track and Field Championships. Two urine samples taken from Gasser at the event showed traces of testosterone, a banned synthetic hormone that can boost an athlete's performance, the IAAF said.
Gasser's appeal cites discrepancies in the results, said Georges Kennel, president of the Swiss Athletic Federation. He said the federation filed an appeal in support of Gasser.