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|August 29, 2000||
Sotomayor in "great shape"
Cuban high jump World record holder Javier Sotomayor is in "great shape" and has resumed training for the Olympics after suffering a muscle contraction in Italy last week, a top sports official said on Tuesday.
Sotomayor, who was recently cleared to take part in the Sydney Olympics after a drugs ban was suspended, injured his left thigh last week after landing badly at a meeting in Viareggio, north Italy.
Cuban Athletics Federation chief Alberto Juantorena said in comments quoted by state media that Sotomayor had suffered "a muscular contraction which had no serious consequences".
He had been examined by doctors and had undergone a brief period of physiotherapy.
"He's in great shape," Cuban news agency Prensa Latina quoted Juantorena as saying in Rome. Juantorena, who was visiting members of the Cuban Olympic squad training in Italy, said Sotomayor had resumed training for the Sydney Games.
The Cuban high jumper was suspended for two years last August after testing positive for cocaine at the Pan American Games in Canada. The ban was suspended earlier this month by the International Amateur Athletic Federation because of "exceptional circumstances".
Sotomayor has said that he could win the Olympic gold medal with a jump of 2.36 or 2.37 meters. His world record of 2.45 meters dates back to 1993.
He has jumped 2.28 and 2.30 meters in France and Italy this year, but is still clearly struggling to find his best form.
The main rival of Sotomayor, who has been plagued by leg and ankle injuries in recent seasons, is Russian Vyacheslav Voronin who won last year's world title and cleared 2.40, the best performance in five years, in London at the start of August.
Mail Sports Editor
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