iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

Hey everyone!  From all the staff to all the readers of our blog and the watchers of our live news programming broadcasted live over the internet directly to your desktop, we want to thank you for all your support and participatiion.  We have relocated our blog to iNPLACENEWS.COM.  There you will find all our blogs, including the old posts, your comments you made, the place to download our free desktop player and all of the current news from around the world.  Stay up-to-date on all the current events by watching our broadcasts, reading our blogs, and watching videos-on-demand.  Again, go to iNPLACENEWS.COM for all the newest blogs and the older posts you love to go back to read.  Thank you again for your time, support, and participation.

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IOC Strips Gold Medals After Admissions of Doping on US Relay Team

August 2, 2008

The International Olympic Committee stripped gold medals Saturday from the U.S. men’s 1,600-meter relay team that competed at the 2000 Olympics in the aftermath of Antonio Pettigrew’s admission that he was doping at the time.

The IOC executive board disqualified the entire team, the fourth gold and sixth overall medal stripped from that U.S. track contingent in the past eight months for doping.

Three gold and two bronze were previously removed after Marion Jones confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs.

Saturday’s decision was almost a formality after Pettigrew gave up his gold medal in June. During a trial involving former track coach Trevor Graham, he admitted in May that he used EPO and human growth hormone from 1997 to 2003.

Five of Pettigrew’s teammates also lose their medals: Michael Johnson and twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison ran in the final; Jerome Young and Angelo Taylor ran in the preliminaries.

It was Johnson’s fifth gold medal of his stellar career. He has already said he was giving it back because he felt “cheated, betrayed and let down” by Pettigrew’s testimony. Johnson still holds world records in the 200 and 400 meters.

Three of the four runners from the relay final have been tainted by drugs.

Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting he used performance-enhancers. Calvin Harrison tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2003 and was suspended for two years. Young was banned for life for doping violations.

“We support the action taken today by the IOC,” USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said. “Athletes who make the unacceptable choice to cheat should recognize that there will be consequences. Those consequences can be severe including the loss of medals and results. We’re in full support of this action. In other matters like this in the past we’ve worked with the IOC to make certain medals will be returned, and we’ll do so again.”

The IOC also disqualified Pettigrew from his seventh-place finish in the individual 400 meters in Sydney. And the committee banned him from attending the upcoming Beijing Games “in any capacity,” including as a competitor, coach or technical official. Pettigrew has retired from competition, and the U.S. Olympic Committee said there were no plans for him to be in Beijing.

The IOC had previously tried to strip the relay team after it became known that Young tested positive before the Sydney Games. But a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport said the entire team should not be disqualified, and Pettigrew and the others were allowed to keep their medals.

Saturday’s move came four months after the IOC stripped the gold from the U.S. women’s 1,600-meter relay team and bronze from the women’s 400-meter relay squad because of doping by Jones. She admitted last year that she used drugs at the time and returned her five medals, including gold in the 100 meters and 200 meters and bronze in the long jump.

The IOC has put off any decision on reallocating the U.S. medals until later this year when it takes into account all the files from the BALCO investigation in the United States.

No time frame for a decision on medal redistribution has been set, although an eight-year statute of limitations expires on Oct. 1.

Nigeria finished second in the men’s 1,600-meter relay, with Jamaica third and the Bahamas fourth.

“That’s such a shame, especially for the ones who were clean, and it’s most important for the athletes who were second,” Sanya Richards, who won gold on the 1,600-meter women’s relay in 2004, said from training camp in Dalian. “You lose that opportunity to stand on top of the podium and feel the joy of winning the race. Those are the people who hurt the worst when there are cheaters ahead of them. Giving back the medals is just a technicality because you can’t repair the hurt feelings and the hard work that went into it.”

The IOC is reluctant to hand Jones’ 100 gold to silver medalist Katerina Thanou, a Greek sprinter at the center of a doping scandal at the 2004 Athens Games. She and fellow Greek runner Kostas Kenteris missed drug tests on the eve of the opening ceremony and claimed they were injured in a motorcycle accident. They were forced to pull out of the games and were later suspended for two years.

An IOC disciplinary panel will meet next Thursday to consider whether Thanou can run at the Beijing Games. The 33-year-old sprinter qualified for the Greek team in the 100, but the IOC is reviewing her eligibility.

Thanou’s lawyer has threatened legal action if she is barred from the games.

Article by Stephen Wilson

Andre Jetmir for iNPLACENEWS

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Double-Amputee Wins Appeal To Qualify For Olympics

May 19, 2008

Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius can try to qualify for the Beijing Olympics after winning his appeal against a ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the South African sprinter said on Friday.The International Association of Athletics Federations ruled in January that runner Pistorius could not compete with able-bodied athletes because the carbon-fiber blades attached to both legs gave him an advantage.

The 21-year-old appealed to CAS, which ruled in his favour on Friday following a hearing with various scientists at the end of last month.

“I don’t think ‘really happy’ describes it. I’m ecstatic. The battle has been going on for far too long. It is a victory for sports in general. I think this day will go down in history,” Pistorius told a news conference in Milan, where his lawyers are based.

“Now I can definitely say the truth has come out. I have the opportunity once again to chase my dream of the Olympics, if not 2008, in 2012.”

He confirmed he would run in able-bodied races in Milan on July 2 and at the Rome Golden Gala on July 11, where he competed last year and endeared himself to Italian fans.

The 400 meters will be his main target but he is realistic about his chances of making the August 8-24 Games with the qualifying deadline in late July.

“I’ve missed the whole South African season. The time period is very short. It’s going to be very difficult for me to qualify [for the able-bodied Games],” he said.

He could run in the relay in Beijing without a sufficient individual time but is not holding out much hope with South Africa’s 4×400-meter team struggling to qualify.

Pistorius, who won gold in the 200 meters and bronze in the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, was emphatic that he would compete in this year’s Paralympics in September whether he qualified for the able-bodied Games or not.

He reckoned the camaraderie between paralympians was better than between able-bodied athletes but said essentially there was no difference between the two.

“Sport is supposed to bring people together not judge and separate,” he said.

Swiss-based CAS, the world’s top sports court, said in a statement that the IAAF had not proved competition rules had been contravened by his J-shaped blades.

“On the basis of the evidence brought by the experts called by both parties, the panel was not persuaded that there was sufficient evidence of any metabolic advantage in favor of the double amputee using the Cheetah Flex-Foot,” the statement said.

The IAAF welcomed the decision and said more research needed to be conducted into the effects of prostheses.

“The IAAF accepts the decision of CAS, and Oscar will be welcomed wherever he competes this summer,” a statement said.

“He is an inspirational man and we look forward to admiring his achievements in the future.”

This story was found @ WCSN.com

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