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Greece’s Thanou possible 2000 Olympics 100m champion October 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics, Olympic Games.
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Greek sprinter Ekaterini Thanou, involved in a doping controversy ahead of the 2004 Olympics, could retrospectively take the 100m gold medal for the Sydney 2000 Olympics after the winner, American sprinter Marion Jones, admitted to doping, AFP reports.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Monday it is awaiting the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) before deciding on whether to strip Jones of her five Sydney 2000 Olympic medals.

“If the disciplinary body of the IAAF finds that she was not eligible for Sydney then the disciplinary commission of the IOC will take up the case,” said an IOC spokesman, adding the American could lose her gold medals for the 100m, 200m and 4x400m and bronze in both the 4x100m and the long jump.

If Jones is stripped of her 100m gold medal then logically the runner up Thanou should take the medal. However Thanou and her compatriot sprinter Kostas Kenteris were at the centre of doping controversy just before the Athens Olympics which resulted in a two-year suspension after they missed three doping tests. A Greek court on September 24 deferred until next June the perjury trial of Thanou and Kenteris over the mysterious motorcycle accident which led them to miss doping tests.

On Friday after months of denials, Jones pleaded guilty in court to lying to a federal agent about her use of banned steroids between September 2000 and July 2001. The Sydney Olympics were held on September 15. US Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth on Friday welcomed Jones’s “overdue” confession, and called on her to return her Olympic medals without waiting for sports officials to take them away.

Jones also faces being stripped by IAAF of her world championship medals comprising the 200m gold and the 100m silver in 2001. For this last event it is again Thanou who will benefit. The anti-doping regulations prescribe an eight-year limit after an offence for disciplinary proceeding to be launched which would be September 2008 for the Sydney Olympics.

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