OLYMPICS

Jones's Running Mates Told to Return Medals

LaTasha Colander-Richardson, left, Jearl Miles-Clark, Marion Jones and Monique Hennagan celebrate their 4x400-meter win in Sydney.
LaTasha Colander-Richardson, left, Jearl Miles-Clark, Marion Jones and Monique Hennagan celebrate their 4x400-meter win in Sydney. (By Doug Mills -- Associated Press)
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Friday, April 11, 2008

The eight women who won relay medals with Marion Jones at the 2000 Games in Sydney must return them, the International Olympic Committee executive board ruled yesterday in Beijing.

The IOC said Jones's admission last fall that she used drugs during those Olympics tainted the bronze medal in the 4x100 meters and the gold in the 4x400. Jones, who has already returned all five medals she won in Sydney and is currently serving a prison sentence for lying to federal investigators about her steroid use, ran in the final of both events.

"The decision was based on the fact that . . . she was part of a team, and she competed with them in the finals," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies told reporters in Beijing.

The U.S. Olympic Committee immediately announced its support of the decision, though it acknowledged the right of the affected athletes to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Washington-based attorney for seven of the eight women, Mark Levinstein, declined immediate comment.

In a similar case, Levinstein successfully argued that the rules in place during the 2000 Games did not allow the IOC to strip medals from the men's 4x400 relay team, despite the disqualification later of relay team member Jerome Young. Unlike Jones, however, Young did not compete in the final.

Levinstein is representing Torri Edwards, Chryste Gaines and Passion Richardson from the 4x100 team and Jearl Miles-Clark, Monique Hennagan, LaTasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson from the 4x400 squad. The other runner is Nanceen Perry.

"The decision announced today by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board illustrates just how far-reaching the consequences of doping can be," USOC chief executive Jim Scherr said. "When an athlete makes the choice to cheat, others end up paying the price, including teammates, competitors and fans."

-- Amy Shipley


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