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Court supports IOC over Raducan

Thursday, 28 September, 2000, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK

Despairing Raducan (centre) but she has support Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan, stripped of her Individual gold medal after giving a positive drugs test having taken a cold remedy, has insisted she is satisfied she did nothing wrong.

The petite gymnast, who has been allowed to keep the gold medal she won in the team event, and a silver she won for the vault final, told a press conference: "My heart is at peace that I have done everything right."

Raducan was speaking after learning the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had backed the IOC and formally rejected her appeal to have her gold medal returned despite the disqualification.

The CAS said there were no grounds for returning the medal to Raducan, who tested positive for the banned stimulant pseudoephedrine following her victory in the individual all-around competition.

Impact

" The panel is aware of the impact of its decision on a fine, young, elite athlete," explained CAS acting secretary general Matthiew Reeb.

" It finds, in balancing the interests of Miss Raducan with the commitment of the Olympic Movement to drug-free sport, the Anti-Doping Code must be enforced without compromise."

At the press conference, Raducan said rather than give her an edge over her rivals, the pill had even made her feel dizzy.

She added: "All I took was one innocent pill that was given to me because I wasn't feeling very well. I just don't understand why everything has turned out this way."

Victim

Despite admitting the 16-year-old was the victim of an accident and gained no benefit from the pills, the IOC had refused on Wednesday to soften their stance against Raducan.

IOC executive board member Dr Jacques Rogge revealed: "This is one of the worst experiences I have had in my Olympic life.

" Having to strip the gold medal from the individual gymnastic champion for something she did not intentionally do is very tough. But the rules are the rules."

However, Nadia Comaneci has joined in the growing support for Raducan.

Comaneci, winner of three golds for Romania at the 1976 Olympics, said it was unfair to take away the 17-year-old's gold medal.

Despite admitting that these were 'the Olympics of zero tolerance' for doping, she added: "It's unfair to tell her: 'You're innocent but we're not going to give you the medal'."