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Hammer throw champion stripped of gold

Associated Press

Athens — Hungarian hammer throw champion Adrian Annus was stripped of his gold medal Sunday for failing to take a follow-up drug test, an IOC executive board member said.

Annus passed his drug test after winning the gold on Aug. 22, but failed to show up for another test Friday in Hungary, jeopardizing his medal. Refusing to take a drug test is considered the same as testing positive.

The International Olympic Committee stripped the medal following a disciplinary hearing on Sunday, the executive board member said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Annus did not attend the hearing.

It was the sixth medal — and third gold — revoked during the Athens Games because of doping. Japan's Koji Murofushi will get the gold for hammer throw, Ivan Tikhon of Belarus moves up to silver, and Turkey's Esref Apak gets the bronze.

Three Hungarians have forfeited medals because of doping — Annus, discus gold medalist Robert Fazekas and weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics, who won a silver.

At least one more medal finish could be overturned because of doping.

Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle Williams has tested positive for a stimulant and could lose her bronze medal, Olympic officials said Sunday.

American Erin Mirabella of Racine, Wis., would get the bronze if the IOC takes it from Calle, who finished third Wednesday in the points race.

Calle evidently didn't realize she was using a substance that is banned by the IOC, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. She would lose her medal anyway because athletes are responsible for what they take.

The IOC was expected to consider her case later Sunday.

Although Annus' event had been over for several days, the IOC has the authority to demand another drug test before the end of the games.

Annus passed his test after the hammer throw, but the IOC wanted another one to make sure he didn't try to circumvent the drug testing system, as his teammate Fazekas was accused of doing.

Fazekas lost his gold in the discus after Olympic authorities said he failed to provide enough urine for a drug test, a charge Fazekas disputes.

Pal Schmitt, head of the Hungarian Olympic committee, said Annus' doctor would not let him travel to Athens for Sunday's hearing because he was in bad shape psychologically.

Schmitt said Annus didn't show up for the follow-up test because he thought the police station designated for it "was not an adequate place to maintain his dignity" and to ensure the integrity of the test.

So far, three gold medalists (Fazekas, Annus and Russian shot putter Irina Korzhanenko), one silver medalist (Gyurkovics) and two bronze medalists (Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis and Ukranian rower Olena Olefirenko) have been stripped of their titles because of doping violations.

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