Doping-Four Athens Games athletes stripped of medals

Wed Dec 5, 2012 2:35pm EST
 

By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Four 2004 Athens Olympic medalists, including Ukraine's shot put champion Yuriy Bilonog, have been stripped of their medals after re-tested samples stored for eight years proved positive, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.

The other athletes were women's shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia and discus thrower Irina Yatchenko of Belarus, who both won bronze medals, and Belarussian hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan who took silver.

Three-times world champion Tsikhan had also lost his bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Games but that decision was overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) because of a laboratory procedural error.

A case involving a fifth unnamed athlete from the Athens Games was still pending, the IOC said.

The four named athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids when some 100 samples from the Games eight years ago were target-tested by the IOC using modern methods earlier this year.

The IOC stores samples for eight years to allow for re-testing for newly discovered substances or for substances for which there was no test available at the time.

BETTER TESTS

"You always want to wait until science gives you the most sensitive tests," IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters. "When we retested the athletes for Athens they had undergone testing that was negative (during Athens)."   Continued...