The Bulgarian weightlifting team was disqualified from the Olympic Games on Friday last week after diuretic furosemide was found in the urine of Izabela Dragneva and Sevdalin Minchev Angelov. Dragneva won the first-ever women's weightlifting gold medal in the 48-kilogram event, while Angelov claimed bronze in the men's 62-kilogram division. Both were stripped of their medals.
The same drug was discovered in the blood of Ivan Ivanov, who won the silver medal in the 56-kilogram class but, had it taken away as well. The International Weightlifting Federation suspended the whole team for a minimum of 12 months. The Romanian team was also kicked out of the Olympics after having a third member fail a test in a 12-month period, but the innocent parties later were re-admitted.
Maria Grozdeva of Bulgaria won the Olympic gold medal Friday (Thursday night EDT) in the women's 25-meter pistol event with a score of 690.3. Tao Luna of China won silver and Lolita Yevglevskaya of Belarus bronze.
Twelve years after winning his first gold medal, Tanyu Kiriakov added a second, this time in the men's 50-meter pistol competition at the Sydney Games. Kiriakov, a gold-medalist in the 10-meter air pistol at the Seoul Games in 1988, won the 50-meter event with 666 points. Igor Basinsky of Belarus won silver and Martin Tenk of the Czech Republic bronze.
Ratification of the Bridge Agreement
The agreement between Bulgaria and Romania regarding the building of the second bridge over the Danube river at Vidin-Calafat was ratified by the Romanian Government last week. The agreement was drafted by specialized departments of the European Commission, and its final form was signed on 5 June by the Bulgarian and Romanian foreign ministers. The conclusion of the agreement has been one of the requests of the European Union for the opening of the negotiations for Romania's accession to the Union; its construction being stipulated in the Southeast Europe Stability Pact.
Morkov's case closed
Bulgaria has officially closed an investigation into the murder of dissident Georgui Markov with a spiked umbrella wielded by a passerby in London in 1978. Mr Markov, who was considered a dangerous dissident, worked for the BBC Bulgarian Service. The autopsy concluded Markov was poisoned after finding a capsule of lethal substances in his leg.
In 1990, a double agent who worked for both the Russians and the British said the Soviet KGB had provided the poison and had told the Bulgarian secret service how to kill Mr Markov. By the time the case was reopened in Bulgaria in 1990, after the fall of Communism, the secret police archives had been destroyed. Prosecutors say they're closing their investigation over who killed him, under legislation allowing a case to be dropped if more than 20 years have elapsed.
Rousse gets an environmental award
Rousse is one of the 11 Central and Eastern European towns and the only one in Bulgaria to receive the 2000 environmental award of the European Commission. The award will be conferred to the Mayor of Rousse and the Environment Minister in Brussels on 9 October at an unofficial meeting of the environment ministers of the EU member and the applicant countries.
The award comes in recognition of the hard work of protecting the environment. Next year Rousse will apply for EU funding for the establishment of a new dump, a factory for separation of garbage and other projects. This comes in recognition of the patience of the inhabitants of Rousse, who for years have been breathing polluted air coming from the chemical plant at Turnu Măgurele in Romania.
Lybian trial postponed for the last time?
The trial of the six Bulgarians who face the death penalty if found guilty of deliberately infecting 393 Libyan children with AIDS has been postponed again, Bulgarian television has reported. The trial will resume on 7 October. It is the fifth postponement since the trial opened in February.
The trial was postponed following requests from lawyers to allow them to better acquaint themselves with the charges, reported a Bulgarian television correspondent, the only foreign journalist allowed access to the proceedings. According to the Bulgarians' Libyan lawyer, Othmane al-Bizanti, this will be the last postponement of the trial. He has requested that the court authorise a hearing of the French Professor Jean-Luc Montagnier, who discovered the AIDS virus.
Nadia Rozeva Green, 22 September 2000
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