Gary Hall (b. September 26, 1974)

American Swimmer Gary Hall Jr. overcame diabetes to win four medals in the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia. He anchored the US 4x100 medley relay to victory in world record time and also won a gold in the 50 freestyle relay, plus a silver medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a bronze in the 100 meter freestyle.

Hall nearly missed the Games after refusing to pay a fine for marijuana use. He appealed against a three-month suspension imposed in 1998 by world swimming's governing body FINA after he tested positive for marijuana. FINA considered it was a second offence but Hall maintained it should have been considered a first infraction since the first time he tested positive -- at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics -- marijuana was not on the list of prohibited substances.

Hall refused to pay the fine, saying: ``If that means I won't compete in Sydney, then so be it. It's a matter of principle.'' However, the US swimming federation decided to pay the fine on condition that Hall agree to conduct several swimming clinics for American youngsters without pay, which the swimmer accepted.

Source: Phil Whitten, Four Olympic medals for pot smoker, Reuters 09-23-00

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