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IOC strips Annus of hammer gold


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Annus' doctor said the athlete was unfit to return to Athens
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SPECIAL REPORT
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- Hungarian hammer throw champion Adrian Annus has been stripped of his gold medal for failing to take a follow-up drug test, the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

Annus passed his drug test after winning the gold on August 22, but failed to show up for another test on Friday in Hungary.

Refusing to take a drug test is considered the same as testing positive.

The IOC took the medal away following a disciplinary hearing Sunday, which Annus did not attend.

It said that although Annus had twice tested negative, the samples provided "showed evidence of belonging to two different athletes, indicating possible tampering."

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.

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.

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

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 did not 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.


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