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SWIMMING

Phelps augments legend status; Simone Manuel makes history

Michael Phelps blew away the competition in the Olympic pool for the 22nd time retaining his 200m individual medley title on Friday.

Phelps augments legend status; Simone Manuel makes history
FERNANDO BIZERRA EFE

Michael Phelps blew away the competition in the Olympic pool for the 22nd time but doping reared its ugly head again on Friday when Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi was revealed as the first major case of doping at the Rio Games.

Chen's failed test after narrowly missing a bronze medal in the women's 100 meter butterfly was announced as athletics headed into the Olympic spotlight needing an antidote to its own doping scandals.

Phelps meanwhile was magnificent again in retaining his 200m individual medley title, leaving old rival Ryan Lochte stranded in fifth place. Even second-placed Kosuke Hagino finished nearly two seconds off the pace. Afterwards, the 31-year-old wagged four fingers to show his four gold medals so far in Rio. That has taken him to an incredible 22 Olympic titles and 26 medals overall.

“I say this a lot, but every single day I'm living a dream come true. As a kid I wanted to do something that no one had ever done before and I'm enjoying it”, said Phelps.

Simone Manuel

The United States' Simone Manuel and Canada's Penny Oleksiak shared a dead heat victory in the women's 100m freestyle. Manuel is the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic swimming gold. The 20-year-old Texan could hardly contain her joy, tears rolled down both cheeks as she stood on the winner's podium.

But the spotlight quickly turned to 18-year-old Chen, who won a world championship gold medal last year in the 4x100 medley team.

The Chinese Swimming Association said Chen tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide after Sunday's 100m butterfly final, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. Chen came fourth just 0.09 second behind bronze medalist Dana Vollmer of the United States. Diuretics can be used to mask other banned substances.

The CSA said Chen, who was due to take part in 50m freestyle heats on Friday, had asked for a second test on the sample to be carried out and a hearing in the case. The CSA said it has “demanded full cooperation from Chen in the investigation. The CSA resolutely opposes use of banned substances”.

The United States strengthened its lead in the Olympic medals table finishing Thursday with 16 golds, five ahead of China. Simone Biles added the women's all around gymnastics title to victory in the team event.

The 19-year-old is chasing five gold medals in Rio, and few would bet against the 1.45m (4ft 9in) Texan adding to her tally in the apparatus finals to come.