Four Athens Olympians Lose Medals over Doping Charges

All the athletes ran track and field, and were from eastern Europe

Tests on 4 Olympic athletes who participated in the 2004 competition came back positive for anabolic steroids.

The tests were repeated recently, using samples provided 8 years ago. The Clarion Ledger reveals that all the athletes ran track and field, and were from Eastern Europe.

The four athletes who were disqualified are Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, Ivan Tskikhan of Belarus, Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia and Irina Yatchenko of Belarus.

Shot putter Bilonog, sometimes pronounced Bilonoh, was born in 1974 in the Ukraine. He has participated in international competitions since he was 18. In 2004, he won the gold medal in his category.

Ivan Tskikhan is a now 36-year-old Belarusian hammer thrower. He won the silver in 2004, however tested positive in anti-doping trials. He also took home a medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics, but was later disqualified when tests exposed abnormal levels of testosterone in his body, possibly as a result of steroid use.

43-year-old Russian athlete Svetlana Vladimirovna Krivelyova took home the bronze in Athens, as did Belarus' Irina Yatchenko.

They were all disqualified, and forced to return the medals, on Wednesday, December 5. Controversy arises as Lance Armstrong, who recently tested positive for doping during the 2000 Sydney Games, still has his medal.

The International Cycling Union has to notify the cyclist before canceling his win, and give him time to appeal.

“We need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr. Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified, declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal.

"This is a legal obligation not for the IOC but for the International Cycling Union. When he will be notified, Mr. Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal if he wishes. It is only after this period of 21 days that the IOC can legally take action," IOC President Jacques Rogge states.

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