NPR logo Runner Ramzi Wasn't Only Gold Medalist Penalized Today


Runner Ramzi Wasn't Only Gold Medalist Penalized Today

Tsoumeleka celebrated in '04. Mark Baker/AP hide caption

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Mark Baker/AP

Tsoumeleka celebrated in '04.

Mark Baker/AP

The International Olympic Committee's announcement today that it is stripping the 2008 Games' 1,500-meter Olympic gold medal from Bahraini runner Rashid Ramzi is grabbing headlines around the world.

As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, "the 1,500 meters is one of the highest-profile events at an Olympics" and Ramzi's punishment because he tested positive for the banned oxygen-booster CERA is a huge story in the sports world.

But four other 2008 competitors had their results wiped from the records today as well, and one of them is a former gold medalist.

Greek race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka took the gold in the 20K women's race walk at the 2004 Olympics in Athens — one of six golds she and other Greek athletes won in their home nation. She has told a Greek radio network that she didn't knowingly use the banned substance. Tsoumeleka finished ninth at the Beijing Games. Her 2004 medal is not affected by today's decision.

One other 2008 medalist had his award stripped today. Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin won the silver medal in the men's individual road race.

The other two athletes who had their 2008 results erased — cyclist Stefan Schumacher and Croatian runner Vanja Perisic have not won Olympic medals in any Games.