U.S. athletes accept drug sanctions

Four who tested positive agree to waive hearings

Track And Field

April 21, 2004|By Philip Hersh | Philip Hersh,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Four of the eight U.S. track and field athletes who tested positive for the stimulant modafinil in 2003 competitions have decided to accept the sanctions for using the banned drug.

The most prominent modafinil case, involving sprinter Kelli White, is to be adjudicated at a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency hearing in mid-May.

USADA announced yesterday that sprinter Chryste Gaines and hurdlers Sandra Glover, Eric Thomas and Christopher Phillips had waived their hearings, meaning each receives a public warning and is stripped of results for the competition at which he or she tested positive.

All but Phillips tested positive at the U.S. championships, where Thomas finished first and Glover third in the men's and women's 400-meter hurdles, respectively, and Gaines was fifth in the 100. Thomas was fourth in his semifinal.

All three went on to the world championships, where Glover won a silver medal in the hurdles and Gaines a silver in the sprint relay.

Although the three would have been banned from the U.S. team if test results from nationals had been known before the world meet, the international track federation will not strip the world results, according to spokesman Nick Davies.

He said neither the athletes nor USATF could be held accountable retroactively for their being allowed to compete at worlds.

Phillips tested positive at the world meet and will lose his first-place result.

White, who tested positive at worlds, stands to lose her 100- and 200-meter gold medals and $120,000 prize money from those championships.

USADA should announce within two weeks results of hearings for two of the four athletes who tested positive last year for THG, the anabolic steroid at the center of the BALCO drug case.

Two of the THG positives, national champions Kevin Toth (shot put) and John McEwen (hammer), also tested positive for modafinil.

Middle-distance runner Regina Jacobs, winner of 15 U.S. titles and five world medals, is among the four THG positives.

The penalty for steroid use is a two-year ban.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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