- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2008

From combined dispatches

OMAHA, Neb. | Michael Phelps is entered in nine events at next week’s U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist plans an ambitious schedule for the eight-day trials, which begin June 29.

Phelps is entered in the 100- and 200-meter freestyles, the 200 and 400 individual medleys, the 100 and 200 backstrokes, the 100 and 200 butterflies and the 400 free.

Katie Hoff will be nearly as busy. She is entered in seven events in an attempt to make her second Olympic team.

The trials’ schedule mimics the order of races at the Beijing Games in August.

Phelps is the world record holder in four events - the 200 free, 200 IM, 200 fly and 400 IM - all of which he set at last year’s world championships in Australia.

As in 2004, Phelps’ Olympic goal is to break Mark Spitz’s 32-year-old record of seven gold medals in a single games.

Four years ago, Phelps qualified for the Olympics in six individual events but dropped the 200 back and swam all three relays. In Athens, he tied the record for medals at one Olympics with six golds and two bronzes.

This year’s trials will be held in a temporary pool indoors at Qwest Center.

China pushes anti-doping

BEIJING | China is pushing an anti-doping image seven weeks ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

China is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. However, a top Chinese drug control official said Wednesday about 150 producers, wholesalers and retailers were recently ordered to stop illegal production and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs.

Wu Zhen, deputy commissioner of the State Food and Drug Administration, said China began its crackdown a year ago and stepped up its effort in the last few months.

China had been criticized for lax drug testing. But in the last year, the country has been praised by the World Anti-Doping Agency for getting tougher.

“So why are we so aggressive now?” Wu said. “Because we want to honor our commitment to deliver a fair and clean Olympics.

“The newly adopted measures are more aggressive and are intended to make sure that before or during the Olympics such prohibited substances cannot be purchased. That’s why we’ve been aggressive. Is it late? No, I don’ t think it’s ever too late to take action.”

Kidd ready for challenge

RENO, Nev. | Jason Kidd said he’s looking forward to playing for the U.S. basketball team in Beijing in August - even if it does cut into his golf game.

U.S. Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski said the roster will be announced Monday during a news conference in Chicago, but Kidd said USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo has telephoned those who’ll be participating over the last few days.

“I’m not supposed to say anything, but I talked to Jerry and I’m looking forward to participating this summer,” Kidd told reporters during a teleconference promoting the 19th annual Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.

Kidd, the Dallas Mavericks point guard who won a gold medal in 2000 but missed Athens in 2004 with a knee injury said he intends to play in the three-day golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course July 11-13 and doesn’t mind that he’s been made a 100-1 long shot to win.

“I try to get out at least three times a week, but with the Olympics this year, it’s kind of cutting into my golf schedule. I was excited that you guys made [the Tahoe event] in between the Olympic practices,” Kidd said. “I’m representing my country in Beijing and this gives me a chance to relax before we try to win a gold medal.”

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