IOC denies Thanou sprint gold

December 10th, 2009 - 2:42 am ICT by IANS  

Lausanne (Switzerland), Dec 10 (DPA) Olympic officials decided against giving the 100 metre gold stripped from Marion Jones to Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board has reallocated other individual medals taken from Jones for doping at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Thanou, who finished second in the sprint, was herself tainted by a doping scandal at the 2004 Athens Games.

Although Thanou has been allowed to keep silver, the decision means the gold medal remains vacant while other medals are redistributed.

Tanya Lawrence of Jamaica, who finished third, will move up to second and become duplicate silver medalist with Thanou.

Merlene Ottey, who competed for Jamaica but is now a Slovenian citizen, moves up a place to third.

The other individual medals won by Jones - gold in the 200 metre and bronze in the long jump - have been reallocated.

Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas moves from silver to gold in the 200 m, with Sri Lanka’s Susanthika Jayasinghe bumped up from bronze to silver and Jamaica’s Beverly McDonald moving from from fourth to third.

Russia’s Tatyana Kotova gets the long jump bronze.

Thanou and fellow Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris missed drug tests on the eve of the opening of the Athens Games. They were then kicked out of the Olympics by the IOC in the affair which also involved an alleged motorcycle accident.

The athletes were banned for two years each by the athletics body IAAF and Thanou barred by the IOC from competing in Beijing 2008.

While there is no evidence that Thanou used doping substances in 2000, the IOC was against giving her the gold won by Jones.

“It was disgraceful behaviour by her and this is a unique situation,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

He added that IOC believes it has “a strong moral and a good legal case” for its decision.

The distribution of the relay medals, meanwhile, depends on a ruling by the Court of Arbitration set for Dec 18.

The IOC stripped the US relays of their medals but Jones’s teammates have appealed before CAS to keep their medals.

The US won the 4×400 m from Jamaica, Russia and Nigeria, while France were fourth behind the US in the 4×100 m.

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