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Thanou will not recieve Jones' gold

10 December 2009

The International Olympic Committee has decided not to re-allocate the women's 100m gold medal at the Sydney Games in 2000, which was stripped from drug cheat Marion Jones two years ago.

In line with IOC practice, controversial Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, who finished second behind Jones in Sydney, would have been expected to receive the gold medal.

Instead, the record books will show no gold in the flagship women's sprint at Sydney but two silvers. Third-placed finisher Tanya Lawrence of Jamaica was promoted to silver alongside Thanou, an IOC spokesman said after an executive board meeting in Lausanne.

Lawrence's compatriot Merlene Ottey was awarded a bronze medal instead of fourth place.

"The actual awarding of a gold medal, of any medal, is certainly not a right and therefore in this case it will not happen," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told journalists.

Adams underlined Thanou's more recent problems, notably evading anti-doping tests in 2004, in which, he added, "she disgraced herself".

"It's felt that with her conduct she didn't deserve to be honoured with this recognition," he added.

Jones's 200m gold went to Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas with Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe moving up into second and Jamaica's Beverly McDonald stepping onto the podium with bronze.

Jones was stripped of all her medals she won nine years ago after admitting doping offences, sent to prison in the United States after lying to federal investigators.

Re-awarding the 100m gold had posed a challenge to the IOC, because second placed Thanou was in subsequent years immersed in controversy over missed drugs tests.

The Greek runner was ultimately barred from competing at the Olympic Games in Beijing last year for bringing athletics into disrepute.

Swiss awarded 2008 showjumping team bronze

Meanwhile, the IOC re-awarded Norway's team showjumping bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games to Switzerland after Norwegian rider Tony Andre Hansen's doping ban was confirmed.

"The Executive Board decided to disqualify rider Tony Andre Hansen from the individual jumping competition and team jumping competition events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as a consequence of the positive doping test," Adams said.

"The bronze medal from the team jumping competition will be redistributed to Switzerland."

The IOC's move followed a ruling by the Court of Arbitration of Sport last week, confirming a ban on Hansen and dismissing the Norwegian rider's appeal against being stripped of an Olympic showjumping bronze medal.

Hansen's was the last outstanding case of four riders at the 2008 Olympics who faced suspensions after their horses tested positive for the banned substance capsaicin, found in urine samples.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) disqualified him from competition for four-and-a-half months and fined him 3000 Swiss francs ($A3,000).

Capsaicin, which can be rubbed in as a lotion to ease pain, is a derivative of the chilli pepper plant.

However, when smeared on the horses they suffer a burning sensation if they fail to clear the showjump bars, the idea being that they will strain themselves to jump higher to avoid the burning.

After the Olympic incidents, the FEI's veterinary commission formally listed capsaicin-based analgesic as a banned substance.


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