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Hammer gold medallist Annus loses medal

August 29, 2004 22:52 IST

Olympic men's hammer champion Adrian Annus has been stripped of his gold medal after failing to take a drugs test, the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

The Hungarian failed to meet an IOC deadline on Friday to submit a urine sample, handing gold to Japan's Koji Murofushi.

Annus, 31, who returned to Hungary and announced his retirement from sport after winning his medal, was tested twice during the Athens Games, once pre-competition and once after he had won the hammer throw on August 22.

Both tests were negative but the IOC called for a second out-of-competition test after suspicions that he may have used a contraption to dupe testers.

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The IOC said on Sunday that "an analysis of the two urine samples provided during the period of the Games showed evidence of belonging to two different athletes, indicating possible tampering". The IOC plans to investigate further.

A third test was called for after his compatriot Robert Fazekas was stripped of his discus gold medal for refusing to provide a complete urine sample following last Monday's final.

Testers suspected him of trying to submit somebody else's urine rather than his own when he was spotted fiddling with a mechanism.

When Fazekas was spotted he said he was a deeply religious man and objected to urinating under close scrutiny before adding that he felt unwell and leaving the doping centre.

After that incident the IOC requested that Annus, who shares a coach with Fazekas, submit to a test but the hammer thrower had disappeared.

Drug testers were dispatched to Annus's western Hungary home earlier this week but were unable to track the athlete down.

They had to be protected by the police from angry villagers supporting the athlete.

The IOC said that the president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee Pal Schmidt had produced a medical statement at the disciplinary commission hearing stating that the athlete was not fit to attend.

The IOC said that Annus's behaviour was to be "characterised as a refusal or failure, without compelling justification, to submit to sample collection" and that he should return his medal.

Silver goes to Belarussian Ivan Tikhon and Turkey's Esref Apak gets the bronze medal.


Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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