Defending Olympic 200-meter butterfly champion Tom Malchow has been hampered by a right shoulder injury that was diagnosed after last month's U.S. trials.
Malchow didn't feel quite right at meets in May and June, but didn't know he was hurt until after earning a berth on his third Olympic team.
He's had two cortisone shots recently to combat swelling and fluid buildup from the torn shoulder tendon.
"We can't fix the tear. I'm managing the pain pretty well," he said Wednesday. "I've still been training relatively well."
Malchow has had to alter his stroke, using more of a sweeping motion to create momentum in the water. Initially, doctors thought it was a pulled muscle.
"All summer, he kept saying, 'It hurts, it hurts.' But we thought it would go away," said Jon Urbanchek, who coaches Malchow in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Urbanchek said it was fortunate that doctors didn't discover the serious extent of the injury sooner because Malchow probably would have opted for surgery right away and missed the trials. Instead, he swam through the pain.
He'll have to do it again Monday, when the 200 fly preliminaries and semifinals are held. If he advances, Malchow will swim the final on Tuesday, giving him three races in a 33-hour span.
He won the 200 fly at the Sydney Olympics; Michael Phelps finished fifth in the same race as a 15-year-old. This time, Phelps is the heavy favorite.
Malchow held the world record in the 200 fly until Phelps took it away in 2001.
"Michael is out there in a class by himself," Malchow said. "To say they'll catch him, I don't think so."
Meanwhile, a top USA Swimming official said Wednesday he didn't know of any American swimmers using performance-enhancing drugs in the months before the 2000 Olympics.
Executive director Chuck Wielgus was responding to a recent Australian newspaper report, which quoted Glen Luepnitz as saying two female U.S. swimmers used a banned human growth hormone. Luepnitz has since denied that he told the Advertiser that the women had taken Meditropin, a human growth hormone and insulin regulator.
"USA Swimming has absolutely no knowledge of any inappropriate activity involving performance-enhancing drugs among our swimming athletes at the Sydney Games," Wielgus said in a statement.
Luepnitz was not a member of the U.S. coaching staff in Sydney, but he advised individual team members on dietary supplements, including Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres. Thompson will compete on her fourth Olympic team in Athens; Torres is retired.
Better Than Advertised
Poggio II, the horse found through the classified ads, is getting his Olympic shot.
Amy Tryon had qualified for the U.S. eventing team on My Beau and on Poggio, a former thoroughbred who was being used as a pack horse when Tryon and a friend purchased him several years ago for $2,500. Tryon was planning to ride My Beau, but has switched to Poggio. . . .
A second Kenyan boxer is out of the Olympics after a violent attack.
Light flyweight Suleiman Bilali Wanjau, a Nairobi police officer, quit the team after he was injured in a robbery near his home, the International Amateur Boxing Associatoin said. Wanjau wound up sixth in his division at the Sydney Games four years ago.
Kenyan bantamweight David Munyasia was ejected from the Games on Tuesday after testing positive for a banned stimulant. . . .
Marc Raquil, a medal contender in the 400 meters for France, will miss the Games with a left calf injury. Raquil was third in the 400 at last summer's world championships, and was part of France's 1,600-meter relay team that placed second to the U.S. . . .
Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg became the second woman in history elected vice president of the International Olympic Committee. Lindberg, who has been on the 15-member executive board since 2000, was elected unanimously to one of the four available vice presidential spots.
The IOC's first female vice president was American member Anita DeFrantz, who served from 1997 to 2001.