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Suspension could cost US 2004 Olympic gold.

Byline: Reuters

RALEIGH: The United States could lose another Olympic relay gold medal because of a doping suspension handed down to the 2004 women s 4x400 meters relay alternate Crystal Cox on Friday.

Cox was suspended for four years and all her competitive results since 2001 were disqualified because she used banned anabolic agents and hormones between 2001 and 2004, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said in a statement.

Traditionally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stripped national relay teams of medals when a team member, including alternates, has been suspended for or admitted to doping.

Cox ran in the preliminary round of the 2004 Athens Games women s 4x400 relay where the American team of Monique Henderson, Monique Hennagan, Sanya Richards and Deedee Trotter won gold.

Russia took silver and Jamaica bronze.

USA Track & Field (USATF) spokeswoman Jill Geer said the U.S. governing body was aware of Cox s suspension.

"Ultimately the determination of what to do with the medals will be in the hands of the IOC, and we defer to them," Geer said in a telephone interview from New York.

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) did not have immediate comment.

If the United States were to be stripped of the Athens gold because of Cox s suspension, it would be the fourth Olympic relay medal an American team has lost because of doping since 2000.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Jan 31, 2010
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