Retired Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan, who won the 2000 Olympic all-around title but was stripped of the crown later in the Sydney Games after testing positive for a banned substance from cold-medicine pills given to her by a team doctor, will not be reinstated as the gold medalist, an International Olympic Committee spokesman said after Raducan met with IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday.
“This decision was very tough for Andreea and was not easily taken by the IOC at the time,” Bach said in a press release. “It shows how strict our anti-doping rules are by having to apply the principle of strict liability of the athlete. On the other hand I feel a great deal of sympathy for her because she has to suffer from a mistake by her team doctor. Even more so because this happened at the age of 16, when as an athlete you have absolute confidence in your medical team.”
Raducan approached Bach during the president’s visit to Bucharest last year, wanting to discuss her request to be reinstated as the gold medalist with him, according to the IOC.
“It was great speaking as one Olympic champion to another,” Raducan said in a press release. “I know that the president understands my disappointment. As a gymnast you only usually get one Games to show the world what you can do.”
Raducan was not stripped of her 2000 Olympic gold medal with Romania in the team competition, before she took the pills. Nor was she stripped of her 2000 Olympic silver medal on vault, three days after the all-around final.
In the all-around final, Raducan led a Romania medals sweep. When she was stripped, Simona Amanar was upgraded to gold, Maria Olaru to silver and China’s Liu Xuan to bronze. Amanar, Olaru and Liu reportedly said they considered Raducan the deserving champion.
Raducan retired before the next Olympics in 2004.