World track and field record-holders Butch Reynolds and Randy Barnes have been suspended for testing positive for steroids and could miss the 1992 Olympics, the sport's world governing body announced yesterday.

If the suspensions are upheld, Reynolds, holder of the 400- meter record, and Barnes, the shot put record-holder, face two-year bans. Suspensions of that duration, mandatory for a first offense under International Amateur Athletic Federation rules governing drug use, would keep them out of next year's world championships in Tokyo and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

IAAF officials said recent tests confirmed that Reynolds tested positive for nandrolone and Barnes for methyltestosterone; those substances are steroids. Both athletes were offered hearings by The Athletics Congress, the U.S. governing organization.

"I've been instructed not to comment," Barnes said. "When it's time . . . I'll make a statement, but right now it's not time."

Reynolds, contacted by the New York Times at the Washington office of his agent, read a statement in which he said his positive test was the result of "some fallacy."

"I have never used steroids," Reynolds said. "I have been drug-tested five times over the last 10 months. Believe me, the results of Monte Carlo are completely inconsistent with my history and, to my knowledge, cannot be medically supported."

Pete Cava, a spokesman for TAC, said the organization had planned "a statement {today}, not necessarily about this. My only response right now is no comment."

The IAAF statement said Barnes tested positive after winning an Aug. 7 meet in Sweden; Reynolds's test was Aug. 12 after a meet in Monte Carlo. He set the 400-meter record of 43.29 seconds at Zurich two years ago and Barnes set the shot put mark of 75 feet 10 1/4 inches last year in Los Angeles.

In yesterday's editions of USA Today, Reynolds was quoted as saying: "I'm not worried. This is crazy. There are some formalities to go through."