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Hungarian Vows to Keep Medal

Associated Press
Wednesday, September 1, 2004; Page D06

BUDAPEST, Aug. 31 -- The Hungarian hammer thrower who was stripped of his gold medal after refusing to take a follow-up drug test at the Athens Olympics said Tuesday that he still considers himself the champion and vowed to keep his medal.

Adrian Annus also reiterated his decision to retire rather than deal with what he called a campaign to manipulate test results against him.

_____ Day 17 _____
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A brawl mars the finale of freestyle wrestling.
Boxer Andre Ward saves the U.S. team with a gold medal.
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Russian Alina Kabaeva wins the rhythmic all-around.
The Russia men's volleyball team beats the sluggish U.S. to win bronze, while Brazil wins gold.
The U.S. men's water polo team upsets Italy.

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___ Sunday's Medals Results ___
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48 Kg
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Gymnastics (Rhythmic)
Individual
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Women's Over 67kg
Team Handball
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Wrestling (Freestyle)
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_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: Gold-medal winning athletes from the United States share their experiences.
Audio: American boxer Andre Ward discusses his journey to gold.
Audio: American Meb Keflezighi talks about his silver medal in the marathon.
Audio: The USOC is proud of the United States' medal haul.
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Audio: IOC president Jacques Rogge formally closes the Athens Games.

_____ Photos _____
Day 17
Gold medal fans
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"Hammer throwing was my life and this wasn't the way I planned to bid farewell to the sport," Annus told the state-run news wire MTI. "I only want my family and I to be left alone."

The International Olympic Committee said Annus passed two drug tests -- one before and one right after his event on Aug. 22. Although both samples came back clean, the analysis "showed evidence of belonging to two different athletes, indicating possible tampering," the IOC said.

Annus was ordered to take another drug test after he returned to Hungary, but failed to show up. Refusing to take a drug test is considered the same as testing positive.

He was stripped of the medal at an IOC disciplinary hearing that he did not attend.

Annus said he is still considering legal action against the IOC.

"Many law firms have contacted me in the last few days, including several foreign ones," Annus said. "If there is a way for me to prove my truth by legal means, I'll take the necessary steps."

Hungarian Olympic Committee spokesman Dezso Vad said the organization has been notified by the IOC about returning Annus's medal, but that no deadline has been set.

"If Annus would have stayed longer in the Olympic Village, the IOC would have taken the medal from him there," Dezso said.

Three Hungarians forfeited medals in Athens because of doping -- Annus, discus gold medalist Robert Fazekas and weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics, who won a silver.

After Annus's medal was stripped, Japan's Koji Murofushi was awarded the gold, Ivan Tikhon of Belarus moved up to silver, and Turkey's Esref Apak won the bronze.


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