The International Olympic Committee delayed ruling yesterday on whether to strip the entire U.S. 1,600-meter relay team of gold medals from the Sydney Games, saying it will wait until all appeals have been completed.
The team, which included Michael Johnson, could lose its medals because of a doping violation by teammate Jerome Young a year before the 2000 Olympics. Young has already been stripped.
The International Association of Athletics Federations recommended last month that the entire team be penalized because Young should have been ineligible. The IAAF allowed 60 days for appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The deadline is Sept. 18.
The U.S. Olympic Committee hasn't appealed, and it was unclear whether any of the runners -- Johnson, twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew and Angelo Taylor -- had done so on their own.
"The IOC will have to wait until the IAAF decision is final and enforceable before it makes its decision," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said.
The IAAF had hoped for action.
"We believed they would not wait and would support the decision of the international federation," IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai told the Associated Press. "We were led to believe they would. We thought it would be a good signal to the world that the entire sports leadership has the same opinion. This is hesitating a little bit, so it's not a good message."
Young tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999, but was exonerated in July 2000 by a U.S. appeals panel. USATF never gave the IAAF specifics about the case.
USATF officials said confidentiality rules prevented them from releasing information about the Young case until his name became public last year. Some IAAF officials accused the USATF of covering up the case.
Young ran in the opening and semifinal rounds of the relay, but not in the final. Johnson ran the anchor leg in the final for the fifth and final Olympic gold medal of his career.
If the U.S. team loses its case, Nigeria will be upgraded to gold, Jamaica to silver and the Bahamas to bronze.
Young won the 400-meter world championship last year, but he failed to qualify for Athens.
Greek Athlete Critically Hurt
A member of the Greek Olympic judo team fell from the third-floor balcony of her apartment after an argument with her boyfriend, leaving her hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
Elli Ioannou, 20, was treated for multiple fractures to her head and body, said Yiannis Papadoyiannakis, the head of the Greek team. She underwent surgery and was placed in intensive care. The fall is under investigation.
"It is a miracle she is still alive. . . . She is fighting for her life," said Ioannou's coach, Giorgos Bountakis.
Hurdles Champion Injured
Jana Pittman, the 400-meter hurdles champion, might be forced to withdraw from the Olympics after injuring her knee at a meet in Switzerland.
The Australian runner tore cartilage in her right knee during warmups for the Weltklasse Golden League meet in Zurich on Friday night.
Pittman planned to see an orthopedic surgeon yesterday to determine the extent of the injury. Meet organizers said she needs surgery.
"She's clearly put a lot of hard work in, and for any athlete to suffer injury at this stage of her preparation when she was going so well is very, very tragic," said John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee.
Another Argentine Out
French Open champion Gaston Gaudio pulled out of the Olympics with an injury, the second prominent Argentine tennis player to do so.
Fifth-ranked Gaudio aggravated a right-heel injury during this week's Cincinnati Masters, and he was unlikely to recover in time for the Olympics, trainer Javier Maquirriain said.
Gaudio joins third-ranked Guillermo Coria, who pulled out Wednesday because of shoulder tendinitis, leaving Argentina without its two top players as it seeks the country's first Olympic gold medal in 52 years.
No. 50 Agustin Calleri is expected to replace Gaudio.
Bulgarian Official Suspended
A Bulgarian sports official implicated in alleged bid-city corruption was suspended as a member of the IOC.
Ivan Slavkov was secretly filmed by an undercover BBC television crew discussing how votes could be bought in the campaign to host the 2012 Summer Games. The program also featured four lobbyists claiming they could secure IOC members' votes for a price.
"I'm more than disappointed -- I am an angry man," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in announcing Slavkov's suspension.
New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are vying for the 2012 Games. The IOC will select the host city in July 2005.