Hungarian refuses handover

Disgraced Hungarian hammer thrower Adrian Annus said yesterday he will not return his Olympic gold medal and vowed to fight for it in court. In stark contrast, Germany will not challenge the loss of two equestrian gold medals at the Athens Olympics after the controversy surrounding rider Bettina Hoy. «I will keep the medal… any information contrary to that has not come from me,» Annus said in a statement to state news agency MTI. Annus won the hammer throw in Athens but was disqualified after he did not meet an International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline before the Games ended to submit another urine sample. Japan’s Koji Murofushi was awarded the gold medal. The 31-year-old was dope-tested twice during the Athens Games, including after his victory on August 22. Both tests were negative but the IOC called for another out-of-competition test because of suspicions that he may have used a contraption to dupe testers. The IOC said during the Games that «an analysis of the two urine samples provided during the period of the Games showed evidence of belonging to two different athletes, indicating possible tampering.» Annus told MTI that reports of his two urine samples at the Games being from two different people are false. Sources close to Annus said he changes his mind about the fate of the medal almost daily and that on some days he says he will return it as he considers himself the Olympic champion and the medal has no bearing on that belief. Annus could not be reached for comment and did not respond to several telephone messages. His lawyer said the athlete would make a statement today. Reinhardt Wendt, head of the German Olympic equestrian team, said yesterday that «the athletes have decided to close the chapter on Athens and they want to concentrate on the future.» Wendt told a news conference that Germany had returned the individual and team gold medals won in the three-day equestrian event to the International Olympic Committee. A number of legal advisers had urged Germany to challenge the loss of the medals. The package also included a letter from Juergen Thumann, president of the German equestrian federation, urging the IOC to find «more sportsmanlike solutions» for such problems in the future. An ugly row erupted over the three-day-event gold medals that Germany won, lost, won again and then lost again after the grand jury ruled Hoy had crossed the starting line in a warmup lap before her ride in the showjumping began and handed her a 14-point penalty. That dropped her and Germany out of the medals. Germany appealed, arguing Hoy had realized her error and would have continued on the course had the clock started when she crossed the line. The appeal committee agreed, saying an athlete could not be penalized because of an organizer’s error. France, Britain and the United States, who finished behind Germany, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled against Germany three days later. (Reuters)

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