Friday, February 8, 2002
Appeal lands Jovanovic stiffer penalty
SALT LAKE CITY -- A U.S. bobsledder lost his last chance to
compete in the Winter Olympics on Thursday when an appeals panel
suspended him for two years for failing a drug test.
Pavle Jovanovic of Toms River, N.J., had appealed his nine-month
suspension. But instead of being cleared for the Games, he drew a
Jovanovic said he unintentionally took a banned steroid in a
nutritional supplement. He was to have been a key member of the
two-man and four-man teams driven by Todd Hays. The teams have been
considered favorites to end an American medal drought in bobsled
dating to 1956.
His defense is "just not credible," said Terrence Madden, the
chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. "No panel
is going to buy that defense any more."
Madden said Jovanovic's drug test revealed levels of
19-norandrostenedione, a muscle-building steroid, six times higher
than allowed in the sport.
Jovanovic was tested Dec. 29 during the U.S. Olympic trials in
Park City, where the Olympic competition will be held.
"I look forward to the day when we can tell athletes, 'You can
take XYZ supplement,"' Madden said. "We can't do that now."
Jovanovic appealed the nine-month suspension of an American
Arbitration Association panel to the International Court of
Arbitration for Sport.
The court rejected Jovanovic's contention that he unknowingly
took the banned substance and called his judgment "foolish." The
court also said Jovanovic "expressed no contrition and accepted no
"It's the right decision," said Dick Pound, chairman of the
World Anti-Doping Agency. "It's good for sports. It's good for the