The Reuters global sports blog
Rules in place at the time of the 2004 Olympics make it increasingly likely all members of the U.S. women’s 4×400 metres relay team will lose their gold medals because of last week’s doping suspension of alternate Crystal Cox.
Rule 39.2 of IAAF Competition Rules 2004-2005, which governed athletics participation at the Athens Games, clearly calls for the loss of medals if a team member violates anti-doping rules.
“Where the athlete who commits an anti-doping rule violation … is a member of a relay team, the relay team shall be automatically disqualified from the event in question, with all resulting consequences for the relay team, including the forfeiture of all titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money,” the rule, which applies to alternates, states.
Cox was suspended for four years and all of her results since 2001 were disqualified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for using prohibited anabolic agents and hormones over a period from 2001 through 2004, USADA said.
There is an art in dealing with environmental issues when preparing to host Olympic Games.
Athens for example, while preparing to host the 2004 Olympics, decided to construct the rowing venue inside a protected nature reserve and just a few hundred metres from the historic site of the ancient battle of Marathon. Environmental groups were up in arms for years before organisers said while they would build the venue there they would also save a rare fish (which looked more like a frog) living in the tiny creeks of the nature reserve. The rowing centre was built and after the Games it was never used again because of environmental restrictions.