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Olympic officials confirm Young’s positive drug test

The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — U.S. Olympic officials confirmed for the first time Thursday that sprinter Jerome Young tested positive for steroids a year before winning a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.

The confirmation of Young’s name opens the way for international officials to reopen the case and possibly strip the U.S. 1,600-meter relay team of the gold.

The case was examined by the IOC executive board during a review by the U.S. Olympic Committee of its drug-testing program from 1985 to 2000. USOC acting president Bill Martin said Young was one of 24 American athletes who won Olympic medals after positive drug tests.

IOC president Jacques Rogge called the confirmation a “crucial” development, and said the committee was asking track and field’s world governing body to investigate.

“The identification of the athlete is a major breakthrough,” said Arne Ljungqvist, anti-doping chief of the International Association of Athletics Federations. “The case can finally be evaluated and concluded.”

The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency have been investigating accusations — first reported by the Los Angeles Times — that Young tested positive for nandrolone in 1999 but was cleared on appeal by U.S. officials. He went on to win a gold medal in Sydney as part of the relay team.

WADA chairman Dick Pound has pushed for the gold medals to be stripped from Young and the rest of the relay team.

The USOC said Thursday it would ask USA Track & Field, which has previously refused to disclose any details of the case, to release documents explaining why Young was exonerated.

Once the IAAF receives the files, it will review them to determine whether Young was exonerated for valid reasons.

“If it was done right, then the case is closed,” Ljungqvist said.

If the IAAF finds Young should not have been cleared, it will submit the case to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, he said.

The IAAF had demanded for three years that the U.S. federation divulge the name of the unidentified Sydney gold medalist who had been exonerated of a steroid offense. USATF refused, citing confidentiality rules.

The dispute ended up in the arbitration court, which ruled in January that USATF did not have to divulge details of 13 positive cases from 1996-2000.

Young, who won gold in the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay at last month’s World Championships, has said he never committed a doping offense.

Rogge said he would give the USOC’s report to the IOC medical commission for further study, and that he hoped the panel will submit its findings at the next executive board meeting in December.

“At this stage I can only say I am happy with the openness and the transparency of the report,” he said. “I can not say I am satisfied with the report.”

The IOC asked for a full report on the American drug-testing program after the USOC’s former doping control chief, Dr. Wade Exum, contended earlier this year that many athletes failed tests but competed in the Olympics once the USOC cleared them on grounds of inadvertent use.

The USOC said the cases of the 23 other athletes who won Olympic medals after failing drug tests dating back to the 1980s were handled properly according to the rules in place at the time.

The majority of the 24 cases involved stimulants in the ephedrine class or similar substances, U.S. officials said, and some of the positive tests occurred years before the athletes won Olympic medals. The punishment at the time for positive ephedrine tests was a warning or three-month suspension.

Ephedrine is a stimulant contained in some cold remedies. One form of the substance, pseudoephedrine, was removed this week from the banned drug list by the WADA.

USOC chief executive Jim Scherr said the report was intended to “dispel any notion that the USOC was involved in any conspiracy of silence of doping cover-up.”

Since 2000, drug-testing in the United States has been run by an independent body, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The USOC report was compiled by doping expert Rich Young, who went through 700,000 pages of documents.

BASKETBALL

  • Former Duke University All-American Bobby Hurley was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers as a professional scout.

    Hurley, who led the Blue Devils to consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992, will be responsible for scouting NBA personnel, the team said in a statement. He is the NCAA’s career leader in assists.

    A New Jersey native, Hurley averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 assists with the Sacramento Kings and then-Vancouver Grizzlies. Hurley, who was involved in a life-threatening car crash as a rookie, retired after the 1997-98 NBA season.

    The 76ers also said they’ve hired former Los Angeles Clippers assistant Rex Kalamian as their West Coast advance scout.

  • Atlanta matched a three-year, $22.5 million offer sheet guard Jason Terry signed with the Utah Jazz, the Hawks’ first significant move under new ownership.

    The Hawks, who last week were sold along with city’s National Hockey League Thrashers to a group of eight investors for about $250 million, had until tomorrow to match the offer.

    A former University of Arizona All-American, Terry has spent the first four years of his National Basketball Association career with the Hawks, averaging 16.1 points and 5.6 assists in 322 games. His .887 three-point percentage last season ranked sixth in the league.

    Terry, 26, averaged 17.2 points, and a career-best 7.4 assists last season, making him one of only seven players to average more than 17 points and seven assists a game.

    The Hawks open training camp Oct. 2

  • Three Mountain State University men’s basketball players facing federal marijuana charges have been indefinitely suspended, coach Bob Bolen said.

    Rodney Bass and Ronnie Conway were each charged with three counts of marijuana distribution, while Raynardo Curry faces two charges, according to indictments unsealed Wednesday afternoon and announced by U.S. Attorney Kasey Warner.

    Curry is a senior guard from Memphis, Tenn., and Bass is a senior forward from Baltimore. Conway, a senior from Philadelphia, left Mountain State after the 2001-02 season, but re-enrolled last spring.

    All three were charged with distributing marijuana for remuneration between May 16 and Sept. 2. They each face five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a two-year term of supervised release for each count, according to the indictment.

    “The only possible way for reinstatement would be if the charges were dropped or if they were cleared of the charges,” Bolen said.

    “I’m very hurt and concerned for those three individuals and their future.”

    Curry scored 13 points per game last year and had 21 in the Cougars’ loss in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship. Bass averaged nearly five points and two rebounds per game in 2002-03. Conway averaged nearly 17 points and 9 rebounds a game in 2001-02.

    Concordia, Calif., beat the Cougars 88-84 in last year’s NAIA championship.

    Mountain State has not officially begun practice yet for the 2003-04 season, Bolen said.

    “This is the second time in 10 years that anything negative has happened to this program, and I haven’t taken the time to think of what impact it will have on the team,” Bolen said.

    In February 2002, Justin Phillips of Charleston was dismissed from the team and withdrew from the school after being arrested on drug and weapons charges. Phillips, who was a sophomore at the time, averaged 12.7 points per game and was second on the team in 3-point shots with 33.

  • Youngstown State will open its fifth men’s season under coach John Robic with a Nov. 22 game at Niagara. The Penguins’ home-opener is Nov. 29 against St. Francis (Pa.), and their first Horizon League game is Dec. 18 against visiting Wright State. Among the other game on the schedule is a Dec. 13 trip to Pitt. The complete schedule can be found on C8.

    BOXING

  • Promoter Bob Arum apologized to Nevada boxing officials for suggesting a fix was behind Shane Mosley’s win over Oscar De La Hoya, saying his comments were “made in the heat of passion.”

    In a letter to the Nevada Athletic Commission, Arum also asked that he be excused from appearing before the commission next month to present his complaints about the judging of the fight because he has no evidence of any impropriety.

    Arum lashed out bitterly at the judging in the wake of the Sept. 13 fight won narrowly by Mosley, suggesting there was a vendetta against him by a member of the commission that led to De La Hoya losing.

    But he said in the letter to commission chairman Luther Mack that the comments were inappropriate.

    “My comments were made in the heat of passion, without thinking about how such comments would be interpreted as both impugning the integrity of the commission and discrediting the sport I love so much,” Arum said.

    De La Hoya was also bitter following the loss, vowing to hire lawyers to investigate how the judges were appointed and how they came to the conclusion he could have lost.

    De La Hoya has said nothing since, however, aside from issuing a statement saying the controversy over the decision wasn’t his fault.

    FIELD HOCKEY

  • Penn State is ranked No. 6 in the STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions are 6-1 and trail No. 1 Wake Forest, North Carolina, Maryland, Duke and Michigan. In Division II, Lock Haven (8-1) is ranked No. 2 and Shippensburg (No. 3), trailing only Bloomsburg.

    ARENA FOOTBALL

  • The Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League are moving to Columbus, Ohio, after failing to negotiate a lease with the new owners of the HSBC Arena.

    Destroyers owner Mark Hamister sold a majority interest in the team to two Columbus businessmen, including John McConnell, owner of the NHL’s Blue Jackets. Hamister will remain a shareholder.

    The Destroyers will play in Columbus this year.

    Hamister said the timing of negotiations was poor because the new owners of the Buffalo Sabres only recently took over arena operations.

    Buffalo was awarded an expansion AFL franchise in 1997. The Destroyers sold more than 12,000 season tickets the first year, but attendance dropped after the team lost 21 of the first 22 games.

    The Destroyers went 5-11 last season.

    HOCKEY

  • Tickets for Wheeling Nailers home games go on sale Oct. 6.

    RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS

  • Mary Sanders finished ninth in the all-around preliminaries at the Rhythmic World Championships. Not only is that the highest finish ever by an American, but it guarantees the United States a spot in the Olympics.

    The United States didn’t qualify for the 2000 Sydney Games.

    Anna Bessonova of Ukraine was in first place after the preliminaries. The finals are Saturday. Neither of the other two U.S. gymnasts qualified for the all-around final. Olga Karmansky finished 47th in the all-around prelims, and Lisa Wang was 70th.

    Though Sanders was born and has lived her entire life in Canada, she has decided to compete for the United States. Her late father, Fred, was American, and she felt this was the best way to honor him.

    Fred Sanders, a world-class trampoliner who died 10 years ago, coached his daughter in artistic gymnastics until she was 7.

    Sanders’ decision has been a boon for the United States. In addition to her top-10 finish in the all-around, she was the first U.S. gymnast ever to make an event final at worlds.

    She finished seventh in the clubs finals Thursday. Bessonova won the clubs with 27.225 points. Russia’s Irina Tchachina (27.00) and Alina Kabaeva (26.475) were second and third, respectively.

    Kabaeva won the ribbons with a score of 26.525, just ahead of Bessonova’s 37.5. Elizabeth Paysieva of Bulgaria was third.

    The top 20 individual finishers at worlds, with a limit of two per country, qualify for Athens. The top eight teams also win bids to the Olympics.

    SOCCER

  • West Virginia ranked No. 9 and Penn State No. 16 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I women’s poll. Elsewhere, Mercyhurst is ranked No. 3, Wheeling Jesuit No. 9 and California (Pa.) No. 23 in the Division II men’s poll. Ahead of Mercyhurst are Lynn (Fla.), ranked No. 1, as well as No. 2 Cal State Dominguez Hills. Slippery Rock is ranked No. 15 in the D-II women’s poll. In Division III, the Carnegie Mellon men’s team is ranked No. 17 and the Allegheny men’s team is at No. 21.

    TENNIS

  • In Leipzig, Germany, U.S. Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and runner-up Kim Clijsters easily won their first matches since that Grand Slam event to reach the Sparkassen Cup quarterfinals.

    The No. 1-ranked Clijsters, the 2000-01 champion here, beat Jelena Dokic, 6-3, 6-4.

    No. 2 Henin-Hardenne won 11 straight games during her 6-1, 6-2 victory over Denisa Chladkova.

    “This is a good start. The first match indoors is not easy, especially after a big win. It’s difficult to find your rhythm,” Henin-Hardenne said.

    She beat Clijsters, 7-5, 6-1, on Sept. 6 to win the U.S. Open. Henin-Hardenne also defeated Clijsters in the French Open final.

    The two Belgians are in a tight race to end the season ranked No. 1.

    “I’m sure she’s going to get there. And she’s going to deserve it,” Clijsters said. “If it was Justine, it would be great.”

    Clijsters’ quarterfinal opponent Friday is Patty Schnyder, while Henin-Hardenne will meet Els Callens, who knocked off Alexandra Stevenson, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

    Also, sixth-seeded Nadia Petrova beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, and plays Anatasia Myskina in the quarterfinals.

    Qualifiers Maria Vento-Kabchi and Sandra Kleinova face off in the other quarterfinal.

  • In Palermo, Sicily, fourth-seeded Filippo Volandri withdrew from his second-round match against Franco Squillari at the Palermo Open because of a pulled right hamstring.

    Squillari will play sixth-seeded Alberto Martin, who advanced when Galo Blanco quit with a right shoulder injury while trailing 4-0.

    In other action, fifth-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu defeated Nicolas Almagro, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3, eighth-seeded Luis Horna beat Mariano Puerta 6-4, 6-2, and Oscar Hernandez knocked out Tomas Tenconi, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

  • In Nonthaburi, Thailand, top-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero struggled past Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1, at the Thailand Open in a match interrupted by a power outage.

    Ferrero, the French Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up, played poorly right after the 15-minute delay, losing the second set, but he recovered in the third.

    Ferrero’s quarterfinal opponent will be Gregory Carraz, who defeated Alexander Popp 7-5, 6-2.

    Third-seeded Carlos Moya beat Brian Vahaly 7-5, 6-4, to set up a quarterfinal against fifth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Bohdan Ulihrach.

    No. 4-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan eliminated Kenneth Carlsen 6-3, 7-6 (5). Paradorn now faces No. 6 Ivan Ljubicic, who beat Mario Ancic 6-1, 6-4.

    In other action, No. 8 Taylor Dent topped Thierry Ascione 6-1, 6-2, and Nicolas Thomann defeated Jonathan Erlich 6-4, 6-0.

  • In Shanghai, China, French Open runner-up Martin Verkerk quit with a strained stomach muscle after winning the first set against Scott Draper in the second round of the Heineken Open.

    Verkerk, who was seeded second, stopped while leading 7-6 (4), 0-1.

    “During the whole match I was feeling it, and the more I served the more I felt the sharp pain,” Verkerk said.

    Draper will be joined in the quarterfinals by Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis, who beat Jeff Salzenstein, 6-2, 7-5, and Guillermo Canas, a 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (3) winner over Eric Taino.

    Ivo Karlovic — the 6-foot-10 Croatian who upset defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round at Wimbledon — knocked off fifth-seeded Nicolas Kiefer, 6-1, 7-6 (5).

    Kiefer double-faulted on match point.

    In other second round matches, Robin Soderling overpowered Justin Gimelstob, 6-4, 6-4, and Wayne Arthurs eliminated Takao Suzuki, 6-1, 6-2.

  • The United States will host Austria in the first round of the 2004 Davis Cup, a favorable matchup for an American team expected to feature U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick.

    Thursday’s draw for the 16-team World Group also put top-seeded Australia against visiting Sweden, and second-seeded Spain at the Czech Republic.

    Roddick, who’s ranked No. 2 in the world, and Mardy Fish, ranked 23rd, could play singles for the Americans, who will pick the city and surface for the best-of-five series Feb. 6-8. Only two Austrians are ranked in the ATP Tour’s top 100: No. 65 Stefan Koubek and No. 81 Jurgen Melzer.

    French Open champions Bob and Mike Bryan probably will be the American doubles team.

    The United States and Austria have played once in the Davis Cup, with the Americans winning a semifinal at Vienna en route to the 1990 title. The United States has won the Davis Cup a record 31 times, most recently in 1995. Austria never has been to the final.

    The other first-round matchups: Russia at Belarus, Argentina at Morocco, Switzerland at Romania, Croatia at France, and Canada at Netherlands.

    The United States lost in the first round this year, but the team earned a spot in the 2004 World Group by beating Slovakia 3-2 last weekend.

    If it gets past Austria, the U.S. team would face Australia or Sweden in the April 9-11 quarterfinals. Next year’s semifinals are Sept. 24-26, and the final is Dec. 3-5.

    Australia hosts Spain in the 2003 final Nov. 28-30.

    OFF THE FIELD

  • Kobe Bryant’s accuser asked a judge Thursday to reject a defense request for records from a rape crisis center.

    The basketball star’s attorneys issued a subpoena Sept. 5 to the Resource Center of Eagle County, which runs a hot line, counsels victims and provides shelter. The defense asked for notes from any employee interview related to the Bryant rape case, along with training materials.

    Attorneys for the accuser and the center asked Judge Frederick Gannett to quash the subpoena, saying such records are confidential under state law.

    Bryant is accused of raping the woman June 30 at the Colorado mountain resort where she worked. The Los Angeles Lakers star has said the two had consensual sex.

    His lawyers are also seeking the woman’s medical records from several hospitals and a clinic at the University of Northern Colorado, where she was a student.

  • Reebok International Ltd., the second-largest U.S. athletic-shoemaker, is close to signing Chinese center Yao Ming away from market leader Nike Inc., a person familiar with the situation said.

    The 7-foot-5 Yao, who plays for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, is one of the league’s most popular players even though he’s only played one season. The No. 1 pick in the 2002 draft started last season’s All-Star game, getting more votes in fan balloting than the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal.

    The person, who asked not to be identified, declined to provide financial terms of the endorsement agreement. Yao’s contract with Nike, which began when he was playing in China, expired after his rookie NBA season.

    Yao, who also has contracts with PepsiCo Inc., Visa International Inc. and Apple Corp., should help Reebok sell its products in the world’s most populous nation. The company, based in Canton, Massachusetts, signed a five-year contract this summer to sell NBA jerseys, shorts and caps in Asia.

    “Reebok, like most companies, is trying to develop a relationship with the people in China and gain their trust,” said Ethan Green, vice president of the London-based sports marketing firm Redmandarin. “What better way to accomplish that than to piggyback Yao Ming, who is massively popular• This is great for Reebok’s war against Nike.”

    Reebok spokeswoman Denise Kaigler declined to comment, and three Nike representatives didn’t return messages left at their offices. Bill Sanders, director of marketing for BDA Sports, which represents Yao, declined to comment.

    Countering Nike

    By getting Yao, Reebok would counter Nike’s recent signing of LeBron James, the 18-year high school player who was the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft. James signed a seven-year, $90 million contract.

    “It’s a major coup for Reebok,” said Dean Bonham, a former president of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets who is now a consultant to sports franchises. “In many ways, Reebok getting Yao Ming is as big, if not bigger, than Nike getting LeBron James.”

    Reebok’s most prominent endorser is Philadelphia 76ers All- Star guard Allen Iverson, whose flair on the court and hip-hop image have made him popular among urban consumers. Iverson has a career-long contract with Reebok.

    Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker by market value, has an agreement with the Rockets to put its name on the team’s new arena. When the deal was reached in July, Toyota said the association with the Rockets and Yao would help the company sell cars in Asia.

  • The Atlantic 10 Conference extended its marketing agreement through 2006 with PSI-20/20 Promotions to be the conference’s official merchandise concessionaire for league championship events, maintain the Atlantic 10 web store and serve as the preferred provider of all corporate promotional items, championship gifts and Atlantic 10 logo items.

  • Westminster (Pa.) College will induct seven new members into its Titan Sports Hall of Fame during halftime ceremonies at the school’s home football game Oct. 4 against Washington & Jefferson. The inductees are Jay DeBolt (football, track and field), Aldridge Jones (football), Jennifer McNatt Laidlaw (softball, volleyball), Earl Mayer Jr. (golf), Booker Newberry (baseball, track and field), Lisa Legarsky Nichols (volleyball) and Ralph Veights (football).

  • Penn State-Behrend announced five selections for induction into its athletic Hall of Fame. The five are Pam Allshouse (volleyball), Darcie Bradley (basketball, softball), Jim Camp (media), Natalie Kuhn (basketball, volleyball) and Rick Nese (baseball, soccer).


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