Decision On Jones' Relay Partners Expected Dec. 18

Sport's highest court will decide in December whether Marion Jones' U.S. relay teammates can keep their medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee had originally hoped to have a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the case this month, but IOC vice president Thomas Bach said Thursday the decision has been postponed until Dec. 18.

"We'll have to wait until then," Bach said at the IOC session in the Danish capital.

Bach also said the IOC is close to making a decision on whether to disqualify five athletes who tested positive for the banned endurance booster CERA at the Beijing Games. The five athletes _ including Olympic 1,500-meter champion Rashid Ramzi _ had their cases heard by an IOC panel in July. All deny doping.

"We're about to deliberate in the different disciplinary commissions, and I'm confident that in the next couple of weeks we can come to a decision," Bach told The Associated Press.

Jones lost all five of her medals _ including three gold _ after admitting in 2007 that she was using performance-enhancing drugs at the time of the games. The Americans won gold in the 1,600-meter relay and bronze in the 400-meter relay. Jones also won the 100 and 200 meters in Sydney, and took bronze in the long jump.

The IOC has held off reallocating Jones' medals to other athletes, pending more evidence in the BALCO steroid probe and the relay appeal. If CAS turns down the appeal, the IOC will immediately ask the IAAF to amend the results of the relays, Bach said.

"There is no need for any other decision," Bach said. "Either they can keep the medals, if CAS decides so. If not, then we will ask the international federation to correct the results according to the CAS decision."

Jamaica took silver behind the U.S. in the 1,600 relay and stands to move up to gold if the medals are readjusted. Russia would move from bronze to silver and Nigeria from fourth to bronze. In the 400 relay, France was fourth behind the Americans and would be promoted to the bronze.

Jones' teammates on the 1,600 relay squad were Jearl-Miles Clark, Monique Hennagan, LaTasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson. The 400-relay squad also had Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson.

The IOC pledged in August to speed up the process of reallocating the medals _ which has dragged on since 2007 _ but the CAS postponement marks yet another delay.

"It is frustrating that it's taken so long," Bach said. "But it's not about our frustration, it's about the frustration of the other athletes who placed behind (the U.S.)."

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