LONDON >> American runner Crystal Cox was stripped of her gold medal from the 4×400-meter relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics today after admitting to doping, while the IOC put off a decision on whether to disqualify the U.S. team.
Cox admitted in 2010 to using anabolic steroids and accepted a four-year suspension and disqualification of her results from 2001 to 2004.
The International Olympic Committee executive board formally disqualified Cox and took away her gold medal. However, the IOC took no action on the U.S. team victory, which still stands — for now.
The Olympic body said it is up to the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations whether to disqualify the U.S. from the gold.
In a separate case dating back 12 years, the IOC on Saturday reallocated the medals removed from the U.S. men’s 4×400 relay team from the Sydney Games because of the admitted doping by the late Antonio Pettigrew.
Cox ran in the preliminaries of the Athens relay. Sanya Richards, Dee Dee Trotter, Monique Henderson and Monique Hennegan ran in the final.
Under current international rules, an entire relay team can be disqualified because of the doping of one member, even an alternate. But IOC spokesman Mark Adams said it wasn’t clear whether the IAAF rules were in effect at the time of the Athens Games.
“It is now within the remit of the IAAF to interpret its rules as to whether the disqualification of the athlete would have any effect on the results of the U.S. relay team,” the IOC said.
If the U.S. is stripped of the victory, Russia would move from silver to gold and Jamaica from bronze to silver. Britain would get the bronze.
In a previous case, U.S. women’s teams were stripped of the gold medal in the 4×400 relay and bronze in the 4×100 relay at the 2000 Sydney Games following admission of doping by Marion Jones.