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Direckshun
08-02-2008, 06:56 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/sports/olympics/03rings.html

I.O.C. Strips Gold From 2000 U.S. Relay Team

By JULIET MACUR
Published: August 3, 2008

BEIJING — The International Olympic Committee on Saturday disqualified the sprinter Antonio Pettigrew and the rest of the United States 4x400-meter relay team from the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games because Pettigrew acknowledged using illegal performance-enhancing drugs at those Games.

The entire team must return its gold medals to the United States Olympic Committee, which will deliver them to the I.O.C. offices in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nigeria finished second in that event in 2000, Jamaica was third and the Bahamas fourth.

Pettigrew’s admission came during his testimony at the trial of his longtime coach Trevor Graham, who was found guilty of making false statements to drug investigators in May. Pettigrew, who never failed a drug test, said he had used the blood booster EPO and human growth hormone before, during and after the 2000 Olympics. He returned his medal in June.

His teammates — Michael Johnson, Angelo Taylor, Jerome Young and the twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison — will also lose their medals. Johnson, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in individual events, voluntarily gave up his relay gold medal in July.

“We fully support the action taken today by the I.O.C.,” Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S.O.C, said. “Athletes must understand that if they make the choice to cheat, there will be consequences, and those consequences can be severe.”

Marion Jones, who won five track and field medals at the 2000 Games, also never tested positive for drugs, but the I.O.C. stripped her of those medals last year. She is serving six months in prison for her involvement in a check-fraud scheme and also for lying to federal agents about her drug use.

Jones’s relay teammates at the Sydney Games in the 4x400 relay and the 4x100 relay were also stripped of their medals. For now, though, the I.O.C.’s executive board will not reallocate the medals from any of the tainted events.

“We’re waiting to finalize this issue because we are still expecting potential news to come out” in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative case, Jacques Rogge, the president of the I.O.C., said in a news conference at the conclusion of Saturday’s executive board meetings.

He added, “I am sure this will be finalized, and all the athletes that were clean will be rewarded.”

Some of Pettigrew’s teammates have been swept up in doping scandals of their own. Alvin and Calvin Harrison have served suspensions for violating doping rules. Young was barred for life.

jidar
08-02-2008, 09:55 PM
they ought to just let em do it.