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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

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IOC strips Leipold of gold medal at 76 kg in freestyle wrestling; U.S. star Brandon Slay to receive



The International Olympic Committee has announced that Alexander Leipold of Germany, the Olympic gold medalist at 76 kg/167.5 pounds in freestyle wrestling, has been stripped of his gold medal due to a positive drug test. This decision means that Brandon Slay (Amarillo, Texas/Dave Schultz WC), who was awarded a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia on September 30, will now receive a gold medal at the weight division. "Obviously, I am pleased to be the Olympic Champion at my weight class and earn a Gold Medal for my country, for my teammates, for my family and for my friends," said Slay. "I have trained 18 years to accomplish this goal. In 1984, I watched the late Dave Schultz win the Gold Medal at my weight class at the XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles. Ever since, it's been my dream to do the same. I would like to dedicate my Gold Medal to his memory." The announcement was made by the International Olympic Committee on Monday, October 23. A press release concerning the decision has been posted on the IOC web page. In the press release, the IOC provides the following information concerning the test: "The presence of Norandrosterone and Norethiocholanolone in the A urine sample was detected. This is scientific proof of the administration of prohibited substances (anabolic androgenic steroids) pursuant to Appendix A to the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code (prohibited classes of substances and prohibited methods (I.C.1a). The concentration reported is more than 10 times higher than the reporting threshold established by the IOC." Leipold appeared before the IOC Medical Commission on Monday, October 16. Later that day, the IOC Medical Commission recommended that Leipold should be stripped of his gold medal. "I often talk with young people about choices in life. He (Leipold) made his choice and I made mine. I have chosen to be drug free. I hope this sends a strong and clear message to all athletes and competitors in sports. If you take banned drugs, you will be disqualified," Slay said. "We are very pleased and excited for Brandon and for USA Wrestling," said Jim Scherr, Executive Director of USA Wrestling. "It is great for the United States to have another gold medalist in wrestling. Brandon has worked very hard to become an Olympic Champion and we are very proud of him. We are also encouraged that the IOC continues to be diligent in its efforts to eliminate the use of banned drugs from the Olympic movement." "We're pleased for Brandon who lost a very tough match in Sydney to begin with and who we felt was the best freestyle wrestler in the world at that weight," said Mike Moran, spokeperson for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "We're also pleased that the IOC continues to send a strong statement to those athletes from any country that chose to cheat. The future of the games depends on this continued tough stance so that every athlete knows that he is operating on a level playing field in the most important competition in their lives." Slay had a tremendous performance in Sydney, winning four straight matches to qualify for the gold-medal finals against Leipold. Among his most spectacular performances was a 4-3 overtime second-round victory over Bouvaisa Saitiev of Russia, a 1996 Olympic champion and three-time World Champion, the biggest upset of the freestyle competition. In the finals, Leipold scored a 4-0 decision over Slay, with three of the points awarded on penalty calls against Slay. Slay claimed his first U.S. Nationals title in 2000, and made the U.S. Olympic team with a victory at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. It was a tremendous year for Slay, who started the season with a No. 6 national ranking. He is beleived to be the first wrestler from his native Texas to make a U.S. Olympic team in wrestling. He was a two-time NCAA runner-up for the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and is originally from Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Texas. He is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete in Colorado Springs, Colo. A complete statement by Brandon Slay has been issued through his agent, John Rizzuti of Rizzuti.com in Dallas. It can be accessed on Brandon's web page (www.brandonslay.com) or on TheMat.com, USA Wrestling's web page. EXCERPT FROM INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESS RELEASE OF 23 OCTOBER, 2000 "CONSIDERING the above, pursuant to Rule 25, paragraph 2.2.1 of the Olympic Charter, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE DECIDES 1. The athlete LEIPOLD Alexander, member of the Germany (GER) team, is disqualified and excluded from the Games of the XXVII Olympiad for use of prohibited substances (Chapter II, Article 2.2 of the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code). 2. The National Olympic Committee for Germany is hereby ordered to withdraw and return the gold medal and the diploma awarded to the athlete LEIPOLD Alexander for his first place in the men's category up to 76 kg. 3. This decision shall enter into force immediately."
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