Mystery of the missing medical files

PARIS: Pages from the medical file on French athlete Fouad Chouki, who faces a two-year ban after failing a drugs test at last month's World Championships, have gone missing. 

The disappearance of the documents was first spotted by Philippe Deymie, the French athletics federation's (FFF) doctor. 

“It's not the end of the world as I have copies of everything but it's the principle of the thing that's annoying,” Deymie, who has written to the state prosecutor's department about the matter, said yesterday. 

Chouki tested positive for the banned performance enhancer EPO after running in the men's 1500m at the World Championships in Paris on Aug 27. 

At the end of the race, won by Moroccan Hicham El-Guerrouj, Chouki collapsed and had to be carried away on a stretcher. He was feeling faint and was treated by medical staff.  

The FFF's disciplinary committee will hear his case on Oct 8. He would miss the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2005 world championships in Helsinki if he received the maximum suspension.  

n LONDON: Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis is preparing to sever her ties with controversial German coach Dr Ekkart Arbeit. 

The forecast split between the British athlete and Arbeit, condemned as a leading backroom figure in East Germany's athletics regime of the 1970s and 1980s where there was a state-controlled doping programme, was announced by the Briton's head coach, Frank Dick. 

In an interview in yesterday's Daily Telegraph Dick said: “I wrote to Denise last week suggesting that the situation might arise where it might be in her own best interests to look elsewhere.” 

This follows Lewis' failure to make an impact at last month's World Championships in Paris, where she finished fifth. 

Formerly British athletics' coaching director, Dick has been criticised for his role in uniting Lewis with Arbeit, who helped her with the throwing events. 

The Telegraph suggested Lewis might return to her former coach, Charles Van Commenee, who is now technical director of combined events for UK Athletics. –AFP 

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