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US relay team stripped of 2000 gold medals for doping

US relay team stripped of 2000 gold medals for doping The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided Saturday to disqualify the U.S. men's 1,600-meter relay team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Games. The decision is based on the confession of the sprinter Antonio Pettigrew, who admitted that he used performance-enhancing drugs at those Olympics. Pettigrew, who never failed a drug test, admitted in May to using the blood booster EPO and human growth hormone before, during and after the 2000 Olympics. He voluntarily surrendered his gold medal. On Saturday IOC decided that teammates Michael Johnson, Angelo Taylor, Jerome Young and the twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison will also lose their gold medals from the 2000 Olympics 1,600-meter relay. Michael Johnson, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in individual events, voluntarily gave up his relay gold medal in July already.

 The latest Olympics doping scandal comes days before the start of the 2008 Beijing event and months after track star Marion Jones, who also never tested positive, was stripped of her five medals from the 2000 Games, as part of the the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) steroids case. Jones is currently serving a 6-month sentence for lying to federal agents about her steroid use, as well as for her involvement in a check-fraud scheme.

 Following the string of dope use and allegations, the online sportsbook BodogSports has downgraded the odds on the United States to win the most medals. At the bookmaker the favorite to win most overall medals is China with odds 5/6, the Chinese are also favorite now to win the most gold medals at 2/5. The United States are down as second with odds 13/8.

 Published on 08/02/2008

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