NEWS

Steroids tarnish historic contest

The first woman to be crowned an Olympic victor at the ancient birthplace of the Games is to be stripped of her gold medal after testing positive for an illegal performance-enhancing drug, an official said yesterday. Irina Korzhanenko, a 30-year-old Russian shot-putter, won the first track-and-field medal of the Athens Olympics on Wednesday in an historic staging of the event in the stadium of Ancient Olympia, where the Games were held in antiquity from 776 BC to the fourth century AD. The result had been tainted by the fact that Korzhanenko was stripped of the 1999 world indoor gold medal after being caught for using drugs. Yesterday, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping body said the shot-putter had tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. Nikolai Durmanov said the International Olympic Committee had already started the process for taking back Korzhanenko’s medal.