SYDNEY, Australia -- No way, no how -- no gold medal for Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan.
Following a two-day hearing, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the International Olympic Committee's decision to strip Raducan of the all-around gymnastics medal after she tested positive for a banned stimulant contained in a cold remedy.
Raducan, 16, had unwittingly ingested pseudoephedrine in two pills given to her by the Romanian team doctor. The Romanians, saying this was a case worthy of special consideration, appealed the IOC decision -- and ultimately lost.
While Raducan was not at fault, ''a strict liability test must thus be applied, the consequence being automatic disqualification,'' the three-member panel ruled.
The gold now goes to Raducan's teammate, silver medalist Simona Amanar, while Romania's Maria Olaru upgrades from bronze to silver and Liu Xuan of China claims the bronze. The Romanians had initially threatened to give back the medals if Raducan's appeal was rejected.
''She doesn't look to this medal like winning it herself,'' Romanian coach Octavian Belu said of Amanar. ''She accepts only because these are the rules, not because she wins.''
Raducan took the cold remedy on the advice of the team doctor, differentiating her from the other drug scandals in Sydney.
The United States Olympic Committee, stung by allegations that it hid positive drug tests among its athletes, said Thursday that it would establish an independent body to review its drug-testing programs.
''We need to create a vehicle in which the public at large will have faith in this third party,'' said Norm Blake, chief executive officer of the USOC.
International officials have accused the USA Track & Field national federation of suppressing 12 to 15 positive drug cases in the last two years. Reports of positive steroid tests for U.S. world champion shot putter C.J. Hunter, husband of U.S. star Marion Jones, also rocked the Sydney Games.
n TRACK: Australian Jane Saville was running away with a gold medal -- and that was the problem. Saville was disqualified Thursday at the end of the 20-kilometer walk as she entered the Olympic Stadium, with the finish line and first place just a stroll away.
Walkers are required to maintain contact with the ground, preventing their pace from breaking into a run. After two warnings, Saville was red-carded in the tunnel leading into the Stadium.
China's Wang Liping captured the gold.
American Chris Huffins' hopes of doing the same in the decathlon were looking good. After seven events, Huffins was the leader, while American Tom Pappas was fifth and world champion Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic was sixth
A gold wasn't in the cards for Gail Devers. And her hamstring injury could leave Marion Jones devastated.
In the women's 100-meter hurdles, Devers was favored to finally win the medal that eluded her in the last two Olympics. But as she approached a hurdle midway through the race, she pulled up with a left hamstring tear.
Devers has won three golds in sprints, but never in the Olympic hurdles. Her injury could have severe repercussions for Jones and her hopes for five Sydney golds, because Devers is a member of the 400 relay team.
Teammate Inger Miller has already missed the 100 and 200-meter races with her own hamstring problems. With half the relay team possibly sidelined, Jones' hopes for five medals could take a major hit.
The relay semifinals are scheduled for Friday and the final is Saturday.
Jones has done her part to achieve the golden goal. After winning the 100, she qualified Wednesday in both the 200 and long jump in her return to the track following the steroid woes of her husband, world shot put champion C.J. Hunter.
American Angelo Taylor won gold in the men's 400-meter hurdles.
n BASEBALL: In a day of stunning Olympic upsets, the U.S. baseball team -- Tommy Lasorda's motley boys of the Summer Games -- shocked the two-time defending gold medalist Cubans to take home a Sydney gold medal.
The U.S. baseball team, managed by ex-Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Lasorda, breezed past the favored Cubans 4-0 behind a three-hitter from Milwaukee Brewers prospect Ben Sheets.
The American crew of minor leaguers and major league castoffs earned the first U.S. gold in Olympic baseball by shutting down the international baseball dynasty, winner of the first two baseball gold medals in 1992 and 1996.
The Americans, defeated 6-1 by Cuba earlier in the games, jumped to a 1-0 lead when Mike Neill drilled a first-inning homer. Ernie Young's two-run, bases-loaded single in the fifth provided Sheets with a comfortable cushion.
n BOXING: The American boxers arrived in Sydney with hopes of collecting several gold medals. With the Olympic semifinals coming next, four of them still have a shot at making that happen.
Featherweight Rocky Juarez and 156-pounder Jermain Taylor won Wednesday to join Ricardo Williams Jr. at 139 pounds and Clarence Vinson at 119 pounds in the semifinals.
All were assured of at least a bronze medal.
Juarez, a 1999 world champion, stopped Somluck Kamsing of Thailand on the 15-point rule (31-16) with eight seconds remaining in their fight Wednesday. Taylor became the last American semifinalist by defeating Adnan Catic of Germany 19-13.
n WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: No surprise here. As expected, the defending gold medalist U.S. women defeated Slovakia 58-43 to begin their medal round play. Next up Friday is a rematch with South Korea; a win there lifts the Americans into the gold medal game.
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