Handed 4-year ban for THG use

Updated: July 19, 2004, 3:35 PM ET
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Regina Jacobs, who announced her retirement earlier this week, has become the fourth U.S. track and field athlete to receive a multiyear suspension after a positive test for the steroid THG.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Saturday that Jacobs, whose long and remarkably successful middle-distance running career ended in disgrace because of the positive test, has been suspended for four years.

Jacobs, 40, accepted the ban and agreed to forfeit all of her results starting with her 12th national title in the 1,500 -- which she won at last year's U.S. championships on the same day she tested positive for THG.

An arbitration hearing in Jacobs' case had been scheduled for Sunday.

"I have notified USADA that I will no longer object to their imposition of sanctions because I have already retired and want to avoid being subjected to what I believe would be an unfair hearing," Jacobs said in a statement released by her lawyer, Edward Williams.

Shot putter Kevin Toth and hammer throwers John McEwen and Melissa Price all also tested positive for THG at the 2003 national championships and were suspended for two years. Toth and Price forfeited the national titles they won at that meet.

European 100-meter champion Dwain Chambers of Britain flunked an out-of-competition test for THG last year and was suspended for two years. Kelli White forfeited her 100 and 200 world titles and accepted a two-year ban after admitting use of THG and other banned drugs.

THG was a previously undetectable steroid that was identified by anti-doping officials last summer. The Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative allegedly distributed the THG.

USADA also has charged four sprinters -- including Tim Montgomery, the world record holder in the 100 and the boyfriend of triple Olympic champion Marion Jones -- with use of THG and other steroids. All have denied steroid use and requested arbitration hearings. If found guilty, they face lifetime bans.

Four men connected to BALCO, including the personal trainer of baseball's Barry Bonds, have pleaded innocent to charges of distributing steroids to top athletes. No athlete has been charged with criminal wrongdoing.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press