Russian gold medalist fails test

Monday, August 23, 2004

ATHENS, Greece -- Russian shot put gold medalist Irina Korzhanenko was under investigation for a positive drug test, international and Russian Olympic officials confirmed Sunday.

Korzhanenko, the first woman to win a gold medal at the site of Ancient Olympia, tested positive for the steroid stanozolol after Wednesday's competition, Russian Olympic Committee spokesman Gennady Shvets said. Korzhanenko's backup sample also came back positive, the Russian committee said.

Stanozolol is the same steroid that cost Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson his gold medal in the 100 meters at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Also, Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis was stripped of his bronze medal and expelled from the Olympics for a doping offense, another embarrassment for the host nation after sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou pulled out amid an IOC investigation of their missed drug tests. He was the first athlete in Athens to lose his medal because of doping.

Track and Field

Gail Devers, the most talented yet star-crossed hurdler of her generation, failed once again in the Olympics as she was struck by injury in preliminaries of the 100-meter event.

Devers, 37, who has three world championships in the 100, pulled up short and screamed as she slid under the first hurdle. She hurt her leg in practice a week ago but has refused to discuss the injury in detail.

Mizuki Noguchi of Japan won the marathon in 2:26:20, retracing the historic route from Marathon to Athens. Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won the silver and American Deena Kastor got the bronze -- the first U.S. medal in the event since Joan Benoit's gold 20 years ago.

Gymnastics

Americans Terin Humphrey and Courtney Kupets took the silver and bronze medals on uneven bars, giving the United States its sixth and seventh gymnastics medals of the Athens Olympics.

Emilie Lepennec of France won the gold. Two-time Olympic champion Svetlana Khorkina of Russia fell during her routine and finished last of the eight competitors.

Humprhey and Kupets joined Annia Hatch, who won silver on the vault, as medalists in the event finals. The Americans also won silver medals in both team competitions and golds in both all-arounds.

The seven medals are the most for the United States in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932. At the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games, the Americans won 16.

Paul Hamm, who became the first U.S. man to win all-around gold Wednesday in what has become a disputed finish, was fifth on floor.

Dimosthenis Tampakos of Greece sent the gym into a frenzy, winning gold on the rings with 9.862 points. Jovtchev took silver with 9.850 points. Five-time world champion Yuri Chechi of Italy won bronze with 9.812.

Monica Rosu of Romania won the gold medal in the vault, followed by Hatch and Anna Pavlova of Russia.

Teng Haibin of China won gold on the pommel horse with a score of 9.837. Marius Daniel Urzica of Romania won silver with 9.825. Takehiro Kashima of Japan won bronze with 9.787.

In a controversy over men's gymnastics scoring, South Korean team leaders met with lawyers to plan an appeal of the all-around gold given to Hamm. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport indicated it won't take the case.

"If it's a dispute related to scoring or judging, it would be very difficult for CAS to review the decision of the gymnastics federation," general secretary Matthieu Reeb said. "As a practice, CAS does not review field-of-play decisions."

Judges failed to give enough points for the parallel bars routine by Yang Tae-young, and he ended up with the bronze. Had it been scored correctly, he would have beaten Hamm for gold.

Softball

Lisa Fernandez pitched a three-hitter and Crystl Bustos drove in two runs as the Americans rolled to their eighth shutout in eight days, beating Australia 5-0 to put them in the gold medal game.

Natasha Watley had three more infield hits, Kelly Kretschman homered and the U.S. team (8-0) dominated again. The Americans have won 78 straight games since last July, and have yet to yield a run in the Athens Games.

They've outscored their opponents 46-0 while allowing just 14 hits.

Later, Kerry Wyborn hit a three-run double and Tanya Harding pitched her fourth shutout of the tournament as Australia beat Japan 3-0, setting up a rematch today with the United States in the gold medal game.

Beach Volleyball

Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs beat the German pair of Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau 21-17, 21-17 and top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh beat Canadians Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin, 21-19, 21-14. It will be an all-American final today.

Stein Metzger and Dax Holdren lost to Swiss pair Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel 21-16, 21-19 in the Olympic quarterfinals, ending U.S. hopes of a third straight gold medal on the men's side.

Boxing

Heavyweight Devin Vargas couldn't land the big punch he needed against Viktar Zuyev of Belarus, dropping a 36-27 decision in the latest in a string of losses for the U.S. boxing team. Vargas would have been guaranteed at least a bronze had he won. Three of the nine U.S. boxers remain in medal contention, and none has an easy road to the semifinal medal round.

Diving

Chantelle Newbery won Australia's first gold medal in diving since 1924, easily holding off China's Lao Lishi and Aussie teammate Loudy Tourky in women's 10-meter platform.

American Laura Wilkinson, the defending Olympic champion, was fifth.

Equestrian

American show jumping riders were solid in qualifying. Beezie Madden and Peter Wylde had problem-free rounds, putting the United States among the favorites for the gold when 16 countries compete for team medals Tuesday.

Rowing

The American men's elite eight crew ended a 40-year drought in rowing gold medals, taking a big lead and fending off a late charge by runner-up the Netherlands. Australia won the bronze.

The U.S. women's eight won the silver medal, but had a more subdued celebration. The favored Americans finished behind a Romanian boat they had edged in the initial heat.

Shooting

American shooter Matt Emmons fired at the wrong target on his final shot, blowing a commanding lead in the 50-meter three-position rifle event and allowing Jia Zhanbo of China to take the gold.

The mistake dropped Emmons into eighth place with a score of 1,257.4 points. Had Emmons fired at the right target, he would have needed only a 7 to win gold.

Tennis

Nicolas Massu of Chile won his second gold medal of the Athens Olympics -- twice as many medals as the entire star-studded U.S. tennis team managed. Massu got past American Mardy Fish 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an error-strewn men's singles final that lasted 4 hours.

Women's Basketball

Katie Smith, the U.S. team's best outside shooter, reinjured her right knee early in a 100-62 win over China. The initial diagnosis was a sprain and Smith will undergo an MRI today. The win extended the U.S. winning streak in the Olympics to 22. The United States already had secured first place in Group B.

Women's Volleyball

Desperate for a victory and in danger of an embarrassing elimination from the women's volleyball tournament, the United States finally played like a gold medal contender. Logan Tom scored 19 points to lead the Americans to a 25-22, 25-12, 25-19 win over Cuba and a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Brazilians completed a perfect first round with a sweep of South Korea and will play the United States, the No. 4 seed from Pool B.

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