American runner Crystal Cox was stripped of her gold medal from the 4x400-meter relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics on Saturday after admitting to doping, while the IOC put off a decision on whether to disqualify the U.S. team.
Cox admitted in 2010 to using anabolic steroids and accepted a four-year suspension and disqualification of her results from 2001 to 2004.
The International Olympic Committee executive board formally disqualified Cox and took away her gold medal. However, the IOC took no action on the U.S. team victory, which still stands – for now.
The Olympic body said it is up to the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations whether to disqualify the U.S. from the gold.
In a separate case dating back 12 years, the IOC on Saturday reallocated the medals removed from the U.S. men’s 4x400 relay team from the Sydney Games because of the admitted doping by the late Antonio Pettigrew.
Cox ran in the preliminaries of the Athens relay. Sanya Richards, Dee Dee Trotter, Monique Henderson and Monique Hennegan ran in the final.
Under current international rules, an entire relay team can be disqualified because of the doping of one member, even an alternate.
“It is now within the remit of the IAAF to interpret its rules as to whether the disqualification of the athlete would have any effect on the results of the U.S. relay team,” the IOC said.
If the U.S. is stripped of the victory, Russia would move from silver to gold and Jamaica from bronze to silver. Britain would get the bronze.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: In Istanbul, Sylvia Fowles scored 15 points and Candace Parker added 14 to lead a balanced U.S. offense in the Americans’ 109-55 win over Croatia in an exhibition game Saturday.
The contest marked the return of Sue Bird to the team. She left the women’s basketball squad last week after the death of her stepfather, Dennis.
MOMENT OF SILENCE: IOC President Jacques Rogge won’t budge: There will be no minute’s silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Rogge rejected the latest calls Saturday for a special observance to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games.
“We feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” Rogge said.
The International Olympic Committee has come under pressure from politicians in the U.S., Israel and Germany to pay tribute to the slain Israelis on Friday.
Rogge said the IOC will honor them at a reception in London during the games on Aug. 6. He said IOC officials will also attend a ceremony in Germany on the anniversary of the attack on Sept. 5 at the military airfield of Furstenfeldbruck where most of the Israelis died.
TICKET PROBE: The IOC will not take disciplinary action before the London Olympics against officials accused of illegal ticket sales.
The IOC opened an ethics investigation last month after Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that national Olympic committee officials and ticket agents in several countries were willing to offer tickets on the black market.
The paper turned its evidence over to the IOC, which was still reviewing it.
The evidence was a “huge file,” Rogge said, adding a decision would likely take months.