March 15, 2010 / 6:05 PM / 10 years ago

IAAF to recommend US relay team be stripped of gold

DOHA (Reuters) - The IAAF will recommend the U.S. women’s 2004 Olympic 4x400 metres relay team be stripped of its gold medal because of the doping suspension of relay alternate Crystal Cox, federation spokesman Nick Davies said on Monday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has begun a disciplinary procedure involving Cox and the U.S. relay team, and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council agreed the team’s result should be disqualified under its 2004 rules, Davis told reporters after a council meeting in Doha.

If the IOC accepts the IAAF recommendation, Russia would become the new Olympic champion and Jamaica would move up to the silver medal.

Cox was suspended for four years in January by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and all her competitive results since 2001 were disqualified because she used banned anabolic agents and hormones between 2001 and 2004, USADA said.

She ran in the preliminary round of the 2004 Olympics with the team of Monique Henderson, Monique Hennagan, Sanya Richards and Deedee Trotter later winning the final.

All would lose their gold medals under IAAF rules in place at the time.

Cox later denied using performance-enhancing drugs, saying in an email to family and friends she was innocent but signed the sanction because she did not have the financial resources to fight the charges.

If the U.S. team was stripped of the gold medal because of Cox’s suspension, it would be the fourth Olympic relay medal an American team has lost because of doping.

The IOC stripped the 2000 Olympics U.S. women’s 4x100 bronze and 4x400 gold winners of their medals because of doping admissions by sprinter Marion Jones. Her team mates have appealed the decision.

The IOC also took the 2000 Sydney Games gold medals of the U.S. men’s 4x400 relay team that included Michael Johnson because of doping violations by Jerome Young and Antonio Pettigrew.

The IAAF also decided to deny suspended former Olympic champion sprinter Justin Gatlin’s request for early reinstatement, Davies said.

The decision means Gatlin is not be eligible to return to competition until July 25. He is serving a four-year suspension for a 2006 positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone.

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