Organisers shrug off boycott worries

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 February, 1998, 12:00am

Organisers of this month's Epson World Cup meet are confident that the event will remain boycott-free despite last month's controversy-plagued World Championships in Perth, Australia.

China are scheduled to take part in the Hong Kong meet and organisers were concerned that other competing countries might boycott the event in protest over China's poor record for banned performance-enchancing drugs.

Chinese swimmer Yuan Yuan was banned for four years after being caught with human growth hormones in her baggage, while four other Chinese swimmers tested positive for the diuretic Triamterene in Perth.

Organisers said they had not received word from any of the invited teams that they would boycott the Hong Kong meet, scheduled at the Kowloon Park Swimming series on February 21 and 22.

'Australia, Brazil, Britain, Sweden, Germany, Italy and France are most likely to compete in Hong Kong because they will host the other legs of the series,' a spokesman said.

Organisers have also received verbal agreement that Russian great Alexander Popov will compete in the Hong Kong meet.