Nigeria gets gold at Beijing Olympics as US gets stripped

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Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) officials said Sunday that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the 2000 Sydney Olympics Men’s 4x400m gold to Nigeria, after it was stripped from the US team over doping.

NOC Secretary General Olabanji Oladapo said here the information was conveyed to the committee at the end of a meeting of the IOC’s decision-making Executive Board.

“We are now awaiting the official presentation of the medal to us. This will also be announced by IOC,” he said.

The IOC stripped the US of the gold medal, following the admission of a member of the American quartet, Antonio Pettigrew, that he used performance-enhancing substances.

Pettigrew admitted “using performance-enhancing drugs before, during and after those Olympics.”

The IOC, which sanctioned the U.S. athlete, said: “Teammates Michael Johnson, Angelo Taylor, Jerome Young and the twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison also will lose their medals.”

Reacting to the news, Sunday Bada, a member of the Nigeria relay squad, said although the medal had been long in coming, ”we deserve to have it.”

“I am happy to hear about the re-awarding of the medals. I am looking forward to the presentation. I am also happy that all four members of the squad are alive to witness this,” he said.

Other members of the Nigerian 4x400m team are Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye and Enefiok Udo-Obong.

The Nigerian quartet clocked two minutes, 58:68 secs to finish second behind the U.S. in the race.

Jamaica placed third, while the Bahamas took the fourth position.

Jamaica will now move up to second for the silver and the Bahamas third for the bronze.

It was the sixth medal America was losing from the Sydney Games to doping in the past eight months.

Disgraced sprinter Marion Jones was stripped of her five medals following her confession in 2007.

Beijing Olympics 2008  The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China takes place between August 8 and 24. This dossier focuses on the hopes, aspirations, and achievements of athletes from the African continent.
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