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Doctors Unsure Ukrainian Candidate Was Poisoned

29 September 2004 -- A doctor who treated Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Yushchenko is saying it is too soon to tell whether Yushchenko was poisoned, as he claims.

The doctor in charge of treating Yushchenko at a private hospital in Vienna, Nikolai Korpan, told journalists in the Austrian capital today that the cause of Yushchenko's illness remains "totally open."

Earlier, the hospital had issued a statement saying its doctors had found no medical evidence to support Yushchenko's assertion that someone poisoned him.

A spokeswoman for Yushchenko insisted in Kyiv that Yushchenko had fallen ill as a result, in part of "chemical substances not usually found in food products."

Yushchenko is leading in polls for Ukraine's 31 October elections to replace outgoing President Leonid Kuchma.

The 50-year-old opposition leader complained of an infection on 6 September and underwent tests in Vienna on 10 September to diagnose his illness, after Ukrainian doctors had found that he simply had a flu.