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U.S. relay team is stripped of gold medals

August 03, 2008|From the Associated Press

BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee on Saturday stripped gold medals from the U.S. men's 1,600-meter relay team that competed at the 2000 Olympics in the aftermath of Antonio Pettigrew's admission that he was doping at the time.

The IOC executive board disqualified the entire team, the fourth gold and sixth overall medal stripped from that U.S. track contingent in the last eight months for doping. Three gold and two bronze were previously removed after Marion Jones admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

Saturday's decision was almost a formality after Pettigrew gave up his gold medal in June. During a trial involving former track coach Trevor Graham, he admitted in May he'd used EPO and human growth hormone from 1997 to 2003.

Five of Pettigrew's teammates lose their medals: Michael Johnson and twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison ran in the final; Jerome Young and Angelo Taylor ran in the prelims.

Johnson, who has four other gold medals and world records in the 200 and 400 meters, has already said he was giving it back because he felt "cheated, betrayed and let down" by Pettigrew's testimony.

Three of the four runners from the relay final have been tainted by drugs. Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting he used performance enhancers. Calvin Harrison tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2003 and was suspended for two years. Young was banned for life for doping violations.

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