Handed 4-year ban for THG use


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

"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

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.