Romanian gymnast loses appeal
Sydney, Australia No way, no how no gold medal for Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan.
Following a two-day hearing, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the International Olympic Committee's decision to strip Raducan of the all-around gymnastics medal after she tested positive for a banned stimulant contained in a cold remedy.
Raducan, 16, had unwittingly ingested pseudoephedrine in two pills given to her by the Romanian team doctor. The Romanians, saying this was a case worthy of special consideration, appealed the IOC decision and ultimately lost.
While Raducan was not at fault, "a strict liability test must thus be applied, the consequence being automatic disqualification," the three-member panel ruled.
The gold now goes to Raducan's teammate, silver medalist Simona Amanar, while Romania's Maria Olaru upgrades from bronze to silver and Liu Xuan of China claims the bronze. The Romanians had initially threatened to give back the medals if Raducan's appeal was rejected.
"She doesn't look to this medal like winning it herself," Romanian coach Octavian Belu said of Amanar. "She accepts only because these are the rules, not because she wins."
Raducan took the cold remedy on the advice of the team doctor, differentiating her from the other drug scandals in Sydney.
The United States Olympic Committee, stung by allegations that it hid positive drug tests among its athletes, said it would establish an independent body to review its drug-testing programs.
"We need to create a vehicle in which the public at large will have faith in this third party," said Norm Blake, chief executive officer of the USOC.
International officials have accused the USA Track & Field national federation of suppressing 12 to 15 positive drug cases in the last two years. Reports of positive steroid tests for U.S. world champion shot putter C.J. Hunter, husband of U.S. sprinter Marion Jones, also rocked the Sydney Games.
Boxing: The American boxers arrived in Sydney with hopes of collecting several gold medals. With the Olympic semifinals coming next, four of them still have a shot at making that happen.
Featherweight Rocky Juarez and 156-pounder Jermain Taylor won Wednesday to join Ricardo Williams Jr. at 139 pounds and Clarence Vinson at 119 pounds in the semifinals. All were assured of at least a bronze medal.
Juarez, a 1999 world champion, stopped Somluck Kamsing of Thailand on the 15-point rule (31-16) with eight seconds remaining in their fight Wednesday. Taylor became the last American semifinalist by defeating Adnan Catic of Germany, 19-13.
Women's Basketball: As expected, the defending gold medalist U.S. women defeated Slovakia, 58-4,3 to begin their medal round play. Next up Friday (tonight EDT) is a rematch with South Korea; a win there lifts the Americans into the gold medal game.
Diving: The Americans were shut out in synchronized diving on a day when the Chinese won two more.
Xiong Ni won his second gold of these games, teaming with Xiao Hailiang to dominate the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard.
The storyline was the same for women's synchronized 10-meter platform, where Li Na and Sang Xue routed the rest of the eight-team field.
For the Americans, it was a wasted day. David Pichler and Troy Dumais were fourth in the men's event, missing a bronze by fewer than two points. On the women's side, Laura Wilkinson and Jenny Keim placed fifth.
The Australian, who had captured only one medal in their diving history, picked up two about an hour apart. Rebecca Gilmore and Loudy Tourky won bronze in platform, and Robert Newberry and Dean Pullar earned a medal of the same color on springboard.