POSTED: June 6th 2012

NEIL WILSON: Why is the IOC running scared?

Crystal Cox also appeared on the Survivor television show / Survivor wiki
Crystal Cox also appeared on the Survivor television show / Survivor wiki

THE NEIL WILSON COLUMN / An exclusive, authoritative series from Sports Features Communications

June 6 - What is the International Olympic Committee running scared of? What is it hiding?

More than two years ago it announced an inquiry into the suspension for doping of one of the athletes in the US Olympic relay squad that won gold in Athens in the 4 x 400 metres.

It did so after the IAAF recommended that the gold medals should be stripped from the Americans because an alternate who ran in the preliminary round, Crystal Cox, had subsequently admitted taking steroids.

Indeed, Cox confessed to taking them from 2001 to 2004. She had never tested positive but accepted her guilt, the annulling of all her performances in that period and a four year suspension because of evidence found during the inquiry into BALCO, the Californian laboratory busted by federal agencies. She will be serving her suspension until January 2014, so is not eligible for the London Games.

Mysteriously she is listed still on the IOC’s own website as a gold medallist. So are the others in the squad, such as current world number one Sanya Richards-Ross, who is likely to be competing in London.

They are also credited as the winners still in David Wallechinsky’s definitive quadrennial book of Summer Olympic results. Bizarrely, even the IAAF’s own all-time rankings continue to include the US gold-medal team's winning time.

The IAAF’s reaction to questioning is to say that because the result was at an Olympic Games it has nothing to do with them. Ask the IOC, they say.

So several British newspapers have, primarily because the disqualification of the United States would elevate the British team to the bronze medal. The Daily Telegraph was told that the two year old inquiry continues. Later, The Independent and myself reporting for the Daily Mail were told independently to put our questions in writing in e-mails. We did, and weeks later we are still waiting for answers.

We can only assume the IOC has something to hide. Just a few weeks before its president Dr. Jacques Rogge declares in London the Games of the 30th Olympiad open it still has not sorted out the results of the 28th.

This, remember, is the organization that ignores its own Charter in prevaricating over whether to censure or suspend Saudi Arabia for its gender discrimination. So what hope is there after only two years that it will have addressed the issue of an Olympic gold medal awarded to the wrong country.

Could it be that it was awkward to resolve during the long negotiations with the United States Olympic Committee over its cut of marketing money? Could it be that behind the barricades of Swiss law under which it operates the IOC still feels threatened by legal action in the US?

Either is possible but we cannot know. The Chateau Vidy in Lausanne is in lock-down on the question while six women from Russia, five from Jamaica and five from Britain await their rightful medals.

NEIL WILSON reported his first Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. He has since covered another nine summer and nine winter Olympics for various newspapers, including The Independent and the Daily Mail with whom he has worked for the last 19 years as Athletics and Olympic correspondent. He was Britain's Sports Journalist of the Year in 1984 and is the author of seven books.

Keywords · Neil Wilson · IOC · IAAF · antidoping

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