After 12 years, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially re-awarded Nigeria with the gold medal in the 4×400 metres relay event of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The Nigerian team which was made up of the late Sunday Bada and Jude Monye, Clement Chukwu as well as Enefiok Udo-Ubong were initially given the silver medal, but after a meeting of the IOC’s executive board, Nigeria was elevated as the winners with Jamaica taking silver and the Bahamas winning the bronze medal.
Nigeria takes the gold originally won by the United States, who has been disqualified owing to the late Antonio Pettigrew’s confession, to having taken performance enhancing drugs at the time of the games.
The IOC also stripped American Crystal Cox of her gold medal, which she won for the 4×400 meters relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Cox, the Athens relay alternate, was banned for four years in 2010 for using performance-enhancing drugs. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had said Cox had used prohibited anabolic agents between 2001 and 2004.
The IOC’s Executive Board, however, did not make any decision on the other relay runners in the team, saying it was up to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to decide if all the runners on the U.S. team would be stripped of their medals.
Russia were second in that race and Jamaica won bronze. Britain finished fourth. Should the IAAF decide, as it has done in similar cases, to strip the medals from all team athletes, these countries will be moved up to gold, silver and bronze.
The other members of the US 4×400 team for 2004 games were Monique Henderson, Monique Hennagan, Sanya Richards and Deedee Trotter.
Pettigrew, who committed suicide in 2010, had been disqualified in 2008 from the 4x400m race in Sydney where the United States won gold with a team that which included Michael Johnson and the 400m race where he finished seventh. Pettigrew had admitted to doping.
The IOC had delayed reallocating the medals, awaiting any new information from an on-going investigation into an American doping scandal.