SPORTS

Thanou awarded Jones’s silver

Disgraced Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou has been awarded Marion Jones’s 100-meter silver medal from the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, annulled all the medals won by Jones since September 2000 after she admitted using the banned steroid THG. An IAAF spokesman said the governing body’s decision to award Thanou the silver medal was a reluctant one. «Legally, we had no other choice,» the spokesman, Nick Davies, told BBC Sport. «There was no evidence of Thanou committing any doping offense during the period in question, which leaves us with no alternative but to award the medal to her.» Though the IOC has yet to decide on the five medals won by Jones at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, where Thanou finished second behind Jones in the 100 meters, it has indicated that it will follow in the IAAF’s direction. If so, Thanou would be awarded Jones’s gold medal. Thanou’s lawyer welcomed the IAAF’s decision. «It is a fair and just decision which equally respects the rights of the individual athlete and of the sport,» Grigoris Ioannidis was quoted as telling BBC Sport. Last year, the IAAF’s vice president Sebastian Coe said he would be «uncomfortable» with Thanou being handed any of Jones’s medals. Not long after, the Greek sprinter’s lawyer said his client could sue if the IOC did not award her the Sydney gold. Both Thanou and teammate Costas Kenteris, the gold medalist in the men’s 200 meters at the Sydney Olympics, failed to appear for drug tests on the eve of the Athens Olympics. After serving a two-year ban, Thanou returned to competition last year, at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham, where she ended sixth in the 60 meters. The Greek sprinter was booed by fans.