Weightlifting took another drug hit at the Olympics when the International Olympic Committee said the Armenian bronze medalist in the heavyweight division had tested positive for steroids. Two other non-medalists also were nabbed for drugs.
On the final day of competition at the doping-plagued Sydney Games, the IOC said Sunday (Saturday night EDT) that it had stripped the medal from lifter Ashot Danielyan.
Danielyan, who lifted a total of 1,025 pounds, tested positive for nandrolone after his competition Tuesday, the final day of weightlifting.
He was the fourth weightlifter to test positive at the games, but the first from a country other than Bulgaria. The International Weightlifting Federation expelled the Bulgarian team from the games, although a member of the team later was allowed to compete under an arbitration court ruling.
IOC medical commission chairman Prince Alexander de Merode said a Greco-Roman wrestler, Fritz Aanes of Norway, also tested positive for nandrolone after losing a bronze-medal match on Wednesday.
De Merode also formally announced that Russian 400-meter runner Svetlana Pospelova tested positive for the steroid stanozolol in an out-of-competition test at the games. Pospelova had already returned to Russia when the IOC medical commission received the test result.
A total of eight athletes have tested positive in Sydney since the games began Sept. 16, with more than 50 others caught in pre-games tests around the world. . . .
U.S. Olympic athletes commonly used banned drugs and the U.S. Olympic Committee covered up positive tests, the committee's former medical chief alleged in a sworn affidavit. Robert Voy, chief medical officer from 1983 to 1989, also said the USOC had no interest in curbing the use of such drugs. Its doping program, he said, encouraged the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The allegations are contained in a signed affidavit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. A copy of the document was obtained by the Associated Press.
About 1,000 well-wishers welcomed home gymnast Andreea Raducan in Bucharest with the country--and Romanian sports authorities--deeply bitter over a cold-medicine dispute that cost her an Olympic gold medal.
"It is a lovely surprise on my birthday," said Raducan, who turned 17 while en route from Sydney. "I am sure I need a rest."
President Emil Constantinescu escorted the 4-foot-10 gymnast from the aircraft. A brass band played the national anthem.
Her supporters denounced the decision to cancel her victory in the women's all-around competition after testing positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned stimulant found in cold pills. She was allowed to keep a silver medal in the vault and the team gold. Romanians said the medicine was prescribed by a team doctor, and even the IOC agreed that Andreea was not to blame.
Mexican Loses Appeal
Mexican racewalker Bernardo Segura, disqualified after he crossed the finish line first, lost his appeal to get his gold medal back.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Segura's disqualification was valid even though he wasn't notified until about 15 minutes after he crossed the finish line.
Segura, the world record holder in the 20-kilometer walk, was already celebrating his victory when officials disqualified him. They ruled he broke contact with the ground three times, all in the final 20 minutes.
Italy Coach Suspended
International water polo officials have suspended Italy Coach Ratko Rudic a year from any FINA events for his angry display after his team lost to Hungary in the Olympic quarterfinals.
Rudic, who won golds with Yugoslavia in 1984 and 1988 and with Italy in 1992, chased the officials after the game and was arguing so loudly a uniformed officer stepped between him and the scorer's table at the Ryde Aquatic Leisure Center.
Also, FINA suspended three Italian players for their conduct in slamming the pool deck and arguing with officials following Friday's loss.
Australian center Luc Longley, who was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the New York Knicks during the Olympics, will be out eight to 10 weeks because of a knee injury.
Longley did not play for the home country as Australia lost to Lithuania, 89-71, in the bronze medal game on Sunday (Saturday night EDT).
The 7-2 Longley injured his right knee late in Australia's 76-52 semifinal loss to France on Friday night. An MRI exam yesterday revealed a slight ligament tear, team doctor Peter Harcourt said. He said he expected Longley to miss at least two months.