Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 24, 1996
Date Finished: July 24, 1996
The Hungarian pair of [Károly Güttler] and [Norbert Rózsa] would have been considered as favourites on the eve of the Games but neither had performed up to expectations in the 100 metres breaststroke and Rózsa, the current world champion, had failed even to reach the B final.
Almost by default this left 200 metres specialist [Andrey Korneyev], the European champion from Russia, as the man to beat. After the heats were concluded the landscape looked different again as the two Hungarians, despondent after the 100 metres, bounced back to set the two fastest times.
Korneyev gambled in the final and took the lead from the start. At halfway he was under world record pace but he began to tire quickly in the last 50 metres of the race. With 20 metres Korneyev and the two Hungarians were in one line in the middle lanes of the pool. Rózsa was the strongest of the trio and stormed ahead in the last strokes of the race to win by nearly half a second with Guttler edging past the Russian for silver.
Four days after the final it was announced that Korneyev had tested positive for the stimulant Bromantan and he would be stripped of his bronze medal thereby elevating Great Britain’s [Nick Gillingham] to third position. Korneyev appealed to the Court of Arbiration of Sport on the basis that the drug was not in fact a stimulant but merely an aid to boost the body’s immune system. The court decided in favour of the Russian and his medal was restored