Four-time Olympic gold medalist &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/07/28/48876.html ' target=_blank>Alexander Popov of Russia has retired from swimming, French sportsdaily L'Equipe reported Thursday.
Popov, 33, made the decision after consulting with his coach and family upon returning home from the Athens Olympic Games in August, the newspaper reported. Popov won no medal in Athens, as Xinhua News reported.
A retirement ceremony is being planned in Switzerland, where Popov has resided for the past two years, L'Equipe said. The newspaper cited an unidentified source in Volgograd, where Popov trained early in his career.
The four-time Russian Olympian won the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle at the 1992 Barcelona Games and in Atlanta in 1996.
His eight-year tenure as sprint champion came to an end at the 2004 Sydney Olympics when he lost his 100-meter title to Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands, wrote Moscow Times.
The difference between the West and the two mighty allies in the East - Russia and China - is enormous. In fact, it is not a difference, but an outright contrast