Greek Stripped Of Medal For Doping

Disgraced Greek lifter Leonidas Sampanis
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. He was the first athlete in Athens to lose his medal because of doping.

So far, nine weightlifters have failed drug tests. A Kenyan boxer was also sent home after a positive test. With a week left in the games, including
track and field events, more positives are widely expected.

"Honestly, I can say that for the last 10 years, the time that I have been a weightlifter, I never used this kind of drug. I want to say to the Greek people that I swear to God and on my two children I never used this kind of drug," Sampanis said Saturday as he cried. "I want you to believe me. I want you to stand by me."

The decision was another huge blow for Greece, just four days after top sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou pulled out of the games in a scandal over missed drug tests.

Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter Olympic champion, is the country's most celebrated athlete and was Greece's best hope for gold in track at the Athens Games.

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 sacred site of Ancient Olympia, tested positive for the steroid stanozolol after Wednesday's competition, Russian Olympic Committee spokesman Gennady Shvets said.

The backup B sample was being analyzed to verify the result. Stanozolol is the same steroid that cost Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson his gold medal in the 100 meters at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In a controversy over men's gymnastics scoring, South Korean team leaders met with lawyers to plan an appeal of the all-around gold medal given to American Paul 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.


  • United States 5, Australia 0
  • Australia 3, Japan 0
  • Japan 1, China 0

    Lisa Fernandez pitched a three-hitter Sunday and Crystl Bustos drove in two runs as the Americans rolled to their eighth shutout in eight days, beating Australia 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.

    Reika Utsugi hit an RBI double in the eighth inning and Yukiko Ueno pitched a shutout, giving Japan a win over China. The win wasn't sealed until Li Chunxia was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

    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 Monday with the United States in the gold medal game.

    Beach Volleyball
    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 in the event.

    Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes won the first Olympic beach tournament in 1996 and Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana won in 2000.

    World champion Sarah Ulmer of New Zealand continued her dominance in the 3,000-meter pursuit, breaking her own world record to win the gold medal.

    Ulmer finished in 3:24.537, nearly two seconds faster than her world record set in Friday's qualifying. Australia's Katie Mactier won silver while retiring Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel of the Netherlands got bronze — her sixth and final Olympic medal.

    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.

    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.

    The American men, who set a world record in last week's qualifying, started quick and turned a half-second lead at 500 meters into a commanding 3.26 at 1,000.

    From there, it was only a matter of maintaining the lead. The Netherlands closed the gap by nearly 2 seconds over the final 1,000 meters but the U.S. never appeared threatened, finishing in 5:42.48.

    The Romanian women's eight posted a 1.86-second victory, finishing in 6:17.70. After the United States, the Netherlands won bronze.

    In women's quadruple sculls, the Germans led all the way. Germany has won the event in all five Olympics since it was added to the games. Britain won the silver and Ukraine got the bronze.

    Russia won men's quadruple sculls in 5:56.86, followed by the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

    Romanians Constanta Burcica and Angela Alupei erased a 2-second deficit in the last half of their 2,000-meter race to defend their Olympic title. Germany won silver and the Netherlands took bronze.

    In men's lightweight double sculls, Poland held off France for the gold, while Vasileios Plymeros and Nikolaos Skiathitis gave Greece its first Olympic rowing medal, the bronze.

    Denmark won the men's lightweight four, followed by Australia and Italy.

    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. Jia won with 1,264.5. Michael Anti of the United States moved into second with 1,263.1 points. Christian Planer of Austria took the bronze at 1,262.8.

    Had Emmons fired at the right target, he would have needed only a 7 to win gold.

    Andrea Benelli of Italy won the gold in skeet shooting, beating Marko Kemppainen of Finland in a shoot-off. Juan Miguel Rodriguez of Cuba won a three-way shoot-off with Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar and Shawn Dulohery of the United States for the bronze.

    Table Tennis
    China's Zhang Yining won her second table tennis gold medal of the Athens Games, beating surprise finalist Kim Hyang Mi of North Korea 4-0 in the women's singles final.

    Top-seeded Zhang dominated for a 11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 victory. South Korea's Kim Kyung-ah won bronze with a 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 win over Jia Wei Li of Singapore.

    Women's Basketball

  • Russia 93, Nigeria 58
  • Australia 84, Brazil 66
  • Czech Republic 74, New Zealand 57

    Oxana Rakhmatulina scored 15 points to lead Russia, which already had secured a berth in the quarterfinals and closed out the preliminary round by shooting 56 percent (35-for-62) from the floor.

    Lauren Jackson had 24 points and seven rebounds for unbeaten Australia. Hana Machova scored 21 points to the lead the Czechs over New Zealand, though both teams advanced to the quarterfinals.

    Water Polo

  • Greece 7, Russia 4
  • Italy 8, Hungary 5
  • Canada 10, Kazakhstan 4
    Tania di Mario scored three goals Sunday as Italy advanced to an Olympic water polo semifinal against the United States, setting up a rematch of the last world championship decider.

    Greece upset No. 3-ranked Russia and next faces defending Olympic champion Australia.

    Russia was bronze medalist at the Sydney Olympics and at the 2003 world championships, where Greece placed 9th. Greece didn't qualify for the Sydney 2000.

    Australia and the world champion Americans each had a bye Sunday, securing automatic semifinal spots by finishing atop their groups in the league round.

    Canada beat Kazakhstan in a classification match for seventh and eighth places.