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Seven American Athletes Flunked Drug Tests


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I ran across this story on Yahoo. Looks like the railroading has begun.  :)

Tim Montgomery Faces Ban From Olympics

By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer

The world's fastest human has been told by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency he may have committed drug violations that could bar him from the Athens Olympics. Tim Montgomery (news - web sites), the world record holder at 100 meters, is among four U.S. track athletes to receive letters informing them of the possible cases against them.

AP Photo

 

Marion Jones (news - web sites), winner of five medals — three of them gold — at the Sydney Olympics (news - web sites), was not among those notified. She is Montgomery's girlfriend and mother of their child.

The letters are the first formal step in USADA's attempt to punish athletes based on documentary evidence instead of a positive drug test. If found to have committed the offense, the athletes would face a two-year ban.

Montgomery's lawyer, Cristina Arguedas, said he has done nothing wrong and that they will fight any attempt to keep him from running.

"Tim has been a willing participant in the drug testing process and he has passed every test he has ever taken," Arguedas said Tuesday. "The evidence that we have been shown by USADA and that we are still reviewing is inconclusive and internally inconsistent."

Neither USADA nor the U.S. Olympic Committee released the names of the athletes, nor specifics of the accusations.

A source within the U.S. Olympic movement, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, identified the other three athletes as Alvin Harrison, an Olympic silver medalist in the 400 meters, and sprinters Christye Gaines and Michelle Collins. Gaines is a two-time Olympic medalist in the 400-meter relay and Collins was the 2003 world indoor champion in the 200.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said track and field's governing body had not received notification of the USADA letters.

"It's too early in the process for us to involved," he said.

USADA said it reviewed thousands of documents seized by federal investigators looking into Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which is at the center of a steroid scandal.

The documents were given to USADA by a Senate committee last month in hopes of guaranteeing a drug-free U.S. Olympic team.

"The importance of this investigation extends beyond dealing with doping violations that may have occurred," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said in a statement. "It is also about protecting the reputation of the overwhelming majority of American athletes who willingly participate in the most rigorous drug testing program in the world and would never consider breaking the rules."

USADA has said it can ban athletes without a positive drug test if there is other sufficient evidence.

"The sending of notice letters is the first step towards determining whether sport anti-doping rules have been violated," said Travis Tygart, USADA's director of legal affairs.

The next step, USADA said, is for an independent review board to examine the cases and recommend whether the anti-doping agency should proceed with a formal charge.

Attorneys for both Montgomery and Jones have met with USADA officials to review the pertinent BALCO documents related to the two sprinters.

Montgomery and Jones have denied using any performance-enhancing drugs, and Jones has promised court action if an attempt is made to punish her without a positive test.

 

"It is fundamentally unfair to try to take away an athlete's reputation, their work, and their dreams based on meager information, flimsy documents and a flawed process," Arguedas said.

USADA handles drug matters for the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field, the sport's governing body in the United States.

"We are committed to taking a team to the Athens Games that represents the highest standards of fair play and clean competition — a team that will make America proud — and we appreciate and commend USADA for its efforts in helping us reach this important goal," the USOC's Seibel said.

BALCO founder Victor Conte and three other men, including the personal trainer of baseball slugger Barry Bonds, are charged with illegally distributing steroids to professional athletes. All four pleaded innocent. No athletes have been charged.

The San Jose Mercury News reported two weeks ago that Montgomery was involved with Conte in a plan devised in 2001 to help him set the world record. The plan, according to the newspaper, called for Montgomery to take THG, a steroid that was undetectable until last summer.

Another of those connected with the probe, world champion sprinter Kelli White, has accepted a two-year ban after being confronted with documents alleging her use of steroids.

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Why don't retest Jones samples from the 2000 Olympics to see if she used any THG? Same for Montgomery.   ???

No samples left, that's why.  :ghostface:

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I guess the USADA is above any laws this nation has. What ever happen to innocent until proven gulity. Let Ms. Jones have her public hearing or is the USADA afraid they don't have a strong case. Or is it that the USADA really after Ms. Jones just to prove to the world we are cleaning up our athletes?? Stay tune this going to get really ugly in the coming weeks and I hope Ms. Jones does win against the USADA.   :(
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This whole thing about Marion Jones is an outrage.  She keeps coming on saying "I have nothing to hide, test me, etc.",  yet the USADA and now stupid John McCain is coming in saying "no",  she should not have a public hearing.  

Do they just not want her to compete in Athens or something?

This is pathetic....something is not right with this,  and its pointing more towards the USADA.

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This whole thing about Marion Jones is an outrage.  She keeps coming on saying "I have nothing to hide, test me, etc.",  yet the USADA and now stupid John McCain is coming in saying "no",  she should not have a public hearing.  

Do they just not want her to compete in Athens or something?

This is pathetic....something is not right with this,  and its pointing more towards the USADA.

I agree, this is ridiculous  :glare:

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Here is a story I found on AOL. Enjoy!!   :)

Sportview: USADA Doping Hunt Is Ambiguous

By JIM LITKE

.c The Associated Press

By JIM LITKE

AP Sports Columnist

Let's say a sprinter who loses to the same opponent over and over suspects his competitor is using performance-enhancing drugs. But instead of training harder and smarter, he decides to go on the juice himself to make up the difference. That would be cheating - everybody is clear about that.

Less clear is whether the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is applying the same standards of fairness it expects athletes to meet.

USADA officials have believed for some time that a number of American track and field athletes were using performance-enhancers and yet managing somehow to avoid detection through drug tests.

Unable to complete the tough, expensive, time-consuming work required to develop a better testing system, the agency instead was able to adopt a lower standard of proof just in time to make use of evidence that came in through the door as a result of the federal investigation into BALCO.

The timing looks suspicious, but it's not. A March 1 decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the ruling body for track and field, enabled USADA to similarly change its previous standard of proving guilt ``beyond a reasonable doubt'' to proving guilt to the ``comfortable satisfaction'' of the panel hearing an athlete's case.

The ``comfortable satisfaction'' standard has been part of the World Anti-Doping Agency's code for over a year. It's also been used by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in dozens of doping cases as far back as the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and is applied regularly in the United States in professional misconduct cases, such as those involving doctors and lawyers.

Attorneys for some of the athletes under investigation are preparing to challenge the changed standard and whether it should apply to cases where the evidence was gathered before March 1. But their chances of prevailing are slim, and slimmer still could be their chances of winning in the court of public opinion.

However the legal arguments turn out, supporters of USADA's suddenly beefed-up enforcement tools contend they're the only way to change an athletic culture increasingly obsessed with performance and peopled by competitors willing to risk anything and everything to gain an edge. They also argue such efforts are the only way to disperse the cloud of suspicion that hovers over all those athletes who compete fairly and honestly.

``Are we moving beyond our comfort level? Probably. Are we looking at solutions that might cause some rumbling in our guts? I guess so,'' said Bill Martin, who guided the U.S. Olympic Committee through a series of administrative reforms before stepping down recently as the organization's president.

``But it's important to keep an eye on the big picture,'' he added, ``and that's ensuring that we send a clean team to the Summer Games.''

Nobody disputes that end, only some of the means by which USADA intends to accomplish it.

The agency cut some corners when it took possession of evidence gathered by the Justice Department in the BALCO investigation - a move legal scholars called almost unprecedented. And more troubling still is that none of the officials involved has laid out clearly what standards will be applied to the evidence that's being used to build cases against athletes.

Presented with such evidence, sprinter Kelli White agreed last month to accept a two-year ban for using performance-enhancers and agreed to help USADA unmask other cheaters. Since then, four other U.S. track and field athletes - 100-meter world record holder Tim Montgomery, Michelle Collins, Alvin Harrison and Chryste Gaines - have been accused by USADA of steroid use.

Two sources familiar with the letter sent to Montgomery who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that USADA informed Montgomery that it is seeking to ban him from the sport for the rest of his life. His lawyer accused the agency of resorting to ``McCarthy-like tactics.'' While such comparisons sound overblown at the moment, let's hope they don't turn out to be premature instead.

White's promise to cooperate with investigators - ``If I can make a difference in cleaning up the sport,'' she said, ``I will have done more for the sport than anything I could have done on the track'' - already prompted many of her fellow competitors to start looking over their shoulders.

Montgomery has been a fixture in track and field circles longer and, as a result, he's developed more and sharper rivalries. He's also the companion of three-time gold medalist Marion Jones, who is under investigation by USADA but has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

If USADA can make good on its threat, it doesn't require much imagination to come up with a list of questions agency officials might want answered in exchange for leniency.

Tougher to imagine is how the atmosphere surrounding the sport can get any more poisonous, but just wait.

Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke@ap.org

06/24/04 20:59 EDT

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Another US athlete down fall. Enjoy the news story.   :)

Court Says Young Should Lose Gold Medal

.c The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - U.S. sprinter Jerome Young should be stripped of his Sydney Olympics relay gold medal for testing positive in 1999 for steroids, the world's top sports court ruled Tuesday.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport did not issue an opinion on whether the rest of the U.S. 1,600-meter relay squad, including Michael Johnson, should have to forfeit their medals.

It's the final ruling in a case that pitted American track officials against their international counterparts and led to tension between U.S. sports bodies.

Track and field's world governing body now will decide whether to recommend to the International Olympic Committee that the entire team be disqualified. The Swiss-based arbitration court said Tuesday that it ``does not necessarily accept that, in the unusual circumstances of the present case, this consequence must follow.''

Young tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999 and was suspended from competition. But he was exonerated - avoiding a two-year ban - when a USA Track & Field appeals panel ruled that a clean test taken six days after the positive test raised a ``reasonable doubt.''

Young, the reigning 400 world champion, has said he never committed a doping offense. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday, and a message left for his attorney wasn't immediately returned.

The USATF, the sport's governing body in the United States, issued a statement Tuesday saying it ``has abided by the decisions of each of the tribunals hearing Mr. Young's case, and will continue to do so.''

The IOC said in a statement that since it was not a party in the ruling, it would wait until the ``IAAF informs us of their position on the matter.''

The arbitration court ruled that Young should have been banned from June 26, 1999, until June 25, 2001, making him ineligible for the 2000 Olympics.

``Mr. Young should not have been eligible to compete in any competition during that period, including the Olympic Summer Games in Sydney in 2000,'' the ruling said.

The court's decision cannot be appealed.

After years of refusing to provide details on the case, USATF officials acknowledged for the first time in February that Young had tested positive in 1999 and agreed to hand over key documents.

The International Association of Athletics Federations then took its challenge against Young and the USATF to CAS.

``The IAAF is delighted that this case that dates back to 1999 has finally been resolved with a decision that vindicates our position,'' IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

The court also ordered USATF to pay the IAAF's legal costs of $7,900.

USATF officials said confidentiality rules blocked them from releasing the information before this year. But some international sports officials accused the USATF of protecting drug cheats.

The case also led to tensions between the USATF and the U.S. Olympic Committee, which last fall threatened to begin decertification proceedings against the USATF if it did not provide world sports officials with documents pertaining to Young.

Young ran in the opening heat and semifinal round of the relay in Sydney. It was the last of Johnson's 14 Olympic and world championship gold medals. Other members of the team were twin brothers Alvin and Calvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew and Angelo Taylor.

The Harrisons also are facing doping accusations.

Alvin Harrison is one of four athletes threatened with a lifetime ban by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because of alleged steroid use. Calvin Harrison faces a possible two-year ban because of two minor doping violations.

Davies said the IAAF Council, which is scheduled to meet during the Aug. 13-29 Athens Games, will decide whether to recommend to the IOC that it disqualify the whole U.S. team. If the U.S. squad is disqualified, Nigeria would be awarded gold, Jamaica silver, and the Bahamas bronze.

06/29/04 12:24 EDT

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