US relay team
stripped of 2000 gold medals for doping
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