The IOC is considering opening an investigation that could lead to another U.S. relay team being stripped of an Olympic gold medal for doping.

Crystal Cox, who ran in the preliminaries for the U.S. women's 4x400 relay team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, admitted to using anabolic steroids and accepted a four-year suspension and disqualification of her results from 2001 to 2004, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday.

The fate of Cox's gold medal and the medals held by the rest of the team is up to the International Olympic Committee.

"The IOC is looking into the file and considering setting up a disciplinary commission," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Monday.

The IOC has previously stripped national relay teams of medals retroactively for any doping admission or drug suspension _ including three U.S. teams from the 2000 Sydney Games.

The Athens case also involves the International Association of Athletics Federations, which determines official results and placings.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said the issue will be examined by the IAAF's ruling council at its meeting in Doha, Qatar, in March during the world indoor championships.

Sanya Richards, Dee Dee Trotter, Monique Henderson and Monique Hennegan ran in the Athens final. Moushaumi Robinson joined Cox in the preliminary heat.

Russia finished second in the 2004 relay and Jamaica was third.

Under international rules, an entire relay team can be disqualified because of the doping of one member, even an alternate.

The Cox admission came after an investigation that was triggered by information from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case.

The IOC and IAAF are still waiting for the results of an appeals case involving U.S. women's relay runners from the 2000 Games.

The U.S. was stripped of the gold medal in the 4x400 relay and bronze in the 4x100 relay following Marion Jones' admission of doping. Jones returned her medals, but her teammates appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to keep theirs. CAS is due to rule on the case this year.

The IOC also stripped the U.S. men's 4x400 relay of their Sydney gold after a doping admission by Antonio Pettigrew.

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