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Reports: Hunter positive

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 25, 2000

SYDNEY, Australia -- U.S. shot putter C.J. Hunter, who withdrew from the Games citing a knee injury, tested positive for steroids in July, International Olympic Committee and international track officials said Sunday.

Hunter, husband of U.S. track and field star Marion Jones, won the 1999 world championship and was considered the gold medal favorite. He said surgery Sept. 3 required him to withdraw.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Hunter, 31, had a reading of nandrolone at 1,000 times the limit. It said he also tested for an excessive testosterone ratio. Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg and IOC vice president Dick Pound confirmed the news to the Sydney Morning Herald. The international track and field federation said the case was being referred to USA Track & Field.

USA Track & Field executive director Craig Masback said all doping matters are confidential until they are resolved.

The Morning Herald reported that U.S. officials had hoped to keep the news quiet until after the Games.

"I know what's going on," Hunter said in a statement to NBC. "I'm aware of the allegations, and I'm going to defend myself vigorously."

IOC member Johann Koss told the paper he believed U.S. athletes were protected from drug cases and that other cases were being hidden. IOC medical commission chairman Prince Alexandre de Merode said the United States also shielded drug cases at the 1988 Seoul Games, "so nothing would astonish me now."

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