U.S. cyclist ends up with bronze

Updated: August 29, 2004, 11:33 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Hungarian hammer throw champion Adrian Annus was stripped of his gold medal Sunday for failing to take a drug test, and a Colombian cyclist lost her bronze medal for a doping violation.

A total of seven medals -- three of them gold -- have been revoked during the Athens Games for doping.

The latest sanctions came only a few hours before the closing ceremony, the deadline for the International Olympic Committee to order additional drug tests for competitors.

The latest sanctions gave the United States and Turkey -- fourth-place finishers in cycling and the hammer throw -- an addition bronze medal.

The IOC said Annus passed two drug tests -- one before and one right after his event on Aug. 22. Although both samples came back clean, the analysis "showed evidence of belonging to two different athletes, indicating possible tampering,'' the IOC said.

Annus was ordered to take another drug test after he returned to Hungary, but failed to show up. Refusing to take a drug test is considered the same as testing positive.

He was stripped of the medal Sunday at an IOC disciplinary hearing that he did not attend.

Three Hungarians have forfeited medals in Athens because of doping -- Annus, discus gold medalist Robert Fazekas and weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics, who won a silver.

Also, Hungarian weightlifter Zoltan Kovacs finished last in the 105-kilogram class and was banished from the games for failing to provide a urine sample.

Japan's Koji Murofushi will get the gold for hammer throw, Ivan Tikhon of Belarus moves up to silver, and Turkey's Esref Apak gets the bronze.

Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle Williams tested positive for a stimulant after she finished third in the points race, causing her to lose the bronze, the IOC said. American Erin Mirabella of Racine, Wis., moves up from fourth to the bronze.

Calle denied taking the stimulant heptaminol, but the IOC holds athletes responsible for anything found in drug testing.

The drama involving Annus' medal unfolded over the last few days of the games, which also began under the cloud of Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou missing drug tests. They later pulled out of the games.

Pal Schmitt, head of the Hungarian Olympic committee, said Annus' doctor would not let him travel to Athens for Sunday's hearing because he was in bad shape psychologically.

Schmitt said Annus didn't show up for the IOC-ordered follow-up test because he thought the police station designated for it "was not an adequate place to maintain his dignity'' and to ensure the integrity of the test.

So far, three gold medalists (Fazekas, Annus and Russian shot putter Irina Korzhanenko), one silver medalist (Gyurkovics) and three bronze medalists (Calle, Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis and Ukranian rower Olena Olefirenko) have been stripped of their titles because of doping violations.

The move up to a gold medal in hammer throw gave Japan 16 golds overall, matching its previous high at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Murofushi is the first Asian to win an Olympic throwing event.

He's also the first Japanese Olympic champion in a track and field event, excluding the marathon, since Naoto Tajima won the men's triple jump in Berlin in 1936.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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