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Summer Olympics 2004

Report: Sprinter Edwards near ban

By wire services
Published August 6, 2004

ATHENS - U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards, the reigning world champion at 100 meters, is one step closer to being banned from the Olympics, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The international track federation, or IAAF, doping review panel made a decision that amounts to saying Edwards should receive a two-year suspension for use of a banned stimulant, according to the Tribune.

Edwards qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100 and 200 and would likely have been chosen for the 4 x 100 relay. She was second in the 100 and third in the 200 at the U.S. Olympic Trials last month.

The IAAF rejected the opinion of a U.S. arbitration hearing panel that said extraordinary circumstances "may exist" for a more lenient punishment of Edwards.

The IAAF notified USA Track & Field Thursday of its decision. The sanction would be levied by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USADA spokesman Rich Wanninger did not return calls seeking comment.

Edwards can appeal the IAAF ruling to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Edwards, 27, tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide at an April 24 meet in Martinique. She said the nikethamide came from an over-the-counter product, coramine glucose, her physical therapist purchased for her in Martinique. Edwards said nikethamide was not listed among the ingredients.

If Edwards is removed from the Olympic team, Gail Devers would get the third U.S. spot in the 100 and Lashaunte'a Moore the third spot in the 200.

Devers, who also qualified in the high hurdles, had not decided whether she would run the 100 if Edwards were disqualified. Next on the list for the 100 is Marion Jones, who said at the Olympic Trials she would take the spot if it were available.

Jones is also trying to qualify for the 400 relay team.

"She's done everything we've asked and been everywhere we've asked," U.S. women's Olympic coach Sue Humphrey said. However, she said, it would be "premature" to say Jones will be on the relay team in Athens. "We're still going through the process," Humphrey said.

TENNIS: Germany's tennis federation asked its national Olympic committee to reverse its plan to bar the country's top two female players from Athens, a stance that drew a boycott threat from some on the WTA Tour.

The German Olympic Committee set its own standards for tennis players, leaving Anca Barna and Marlene Weingaertner off the team even though they qualified automatically under an agreement among the WTA, the International Tennis Federation and the IOC.

German Tennis Federation vice president Rolf Schmid said he didn't know whether the Olympic committee would change its mind. "There's absolutely nothing we can do about it," Schmid said.

In other news, Serena and Venus Williams plan to compete at the Olympics despite injuries that forced them to pull out of recent tournaments.

"They've both been working hard and doing their rehab," U.S. Olympic tennis coach Zina Garrison told the Associated Press.

"I've actually spoken directly to Serena, and she's fine," Garrison added. "As far as Venus, I've spoken to her agent and one of her sisters. They are both still looking forward to going."

The sisters will defend their 2000 doubles gold medal and Venus will try to win a second straight Olympic singles championship. Serena also is entered in singles.

BASKETBALL: Lisa Leslie had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Olympians to a 74-58 win over the WNBA All-Stars at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The United States, comprised of most of the best players in the WNBA, outrebounded the All-Stars 62-30, and outscored them 42-22 in the paint, but also committed 28 turnovers.

"Having 20-plus turnovers shows we don't quite have that chemistry yet," Leslie said. "It's our first exhibition game, and we'll continue to get better."

[Last modified August 6, 2004, 01:00:38]


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