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September 24, 2000
'I'll show the bloody Americans'
The father of Dutch dual gold medallist Pieter van den Hoogenband has threatened to sue American swimming officials who have accused some swimmers of being drug cheats.
Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband, a doctor with the Dutch swim team, said the allegations were motivated by jealousy and designed to cover-up a botched American preparation for the Olympics.
"Someone is suggesting now that one of my swimmers is taking drugs. I will take him to court. It's enough, it's absolutely enough," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
"I'll show these bloody Americans. They can't swim so they do psychological things. They are stupid.
"This is jealousy, nothing else, because they can't swim, they can't win. That's the $#zá*#! problem."
One of the 'bloody Americans' Van Hoogenband referred to, men's swimming coach Mark Schubert earlier this week said there were drug cheats in swimming at the Games and called for them to be jailed for five years.
US women's coach Richard Quick said he was convinced some Olympic swimmers were using performance-enhancing drugs, but refused to name names.
And a disappointed US nine-time medal winner Jenny Thompson, who failed to win the individual gold medal she so cherished but had never won, has also inferred there was cheating in her sport.
But there opinions were not shared by all US swimmers.
Gary Hall, who finished third behind Hoogenband in the 100m freestyle final, said: "You just can't accuse people of taking drugs because they swim fast."
The dynamic Dutch duo of Inge de Brujin and Van den Hoogenband have been the brightest stars of the pool in Sydney, upstaging the much-hyped Americans and Australians, with each winning two gold medals in world record times and their coach on Thursday slammed Quick and Schubert of being two-faced, 'jealous and stupid'.
Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband upped the attack, saying the US team had wrecked their preparations by waiting too late to select its swimmers for Sydney.
"Six weeks before the Olympics they go for trials. They are mad.
Every student in the Netherlands knows that is the worst thing to do to prepare your swimmers."
He said Dutch swimmers were drug-free and were prepared to freeze their blood samples to have them tested later to prove they were not using human growth hormones.
"Yes, these unsubstantiated insinuations are hurting the Dutch team. We have excellent swimmers, we have excellent coaches and they don't have such things. If there is a problem, it's theirs, not ours."
Only two Dutch swimmers made finals at the 1992 Barcelona Games before a complete overhaul of the training program began under the leadership of technical director Ad Roskam.
Roskam sacked the entire national coaching staff and employed dieticians and sport scientists to advise him. He also made a careful study of the highly rated Australian academy system.
The Dutch camp is adamant that the rise of Van den Hoogenband, who joined the program as a 14-year-old in 1992, and De Bruijn is a direct result of that program.
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