IOC to consider stripping Cox's Olympic gold medal

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By Karolos Grohmann

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Suspended U.S. Olympic relay gold medalist Crystal Cox could soon be stripped of her gold medal after the International Olympic Committee agreed to set up a disciplinary commission on Sunday.

Cox, the Athens 2004 Olympics 4x400 meters relay alternate, has denied using performance-enhancing drugs after being banned by the U.S. anti-doping agency for four years last month.

"We have set up a disciplinary commission," IOC Vice President Thomas Bach told reporters. He said the three-man commission included fellow IOC Executive Board members Denis Oswald and Frank Fredericks.

"We have to get more details and we will of course give her the opportunity to be heard," Bach said.

Traditionally, the IOC has stripped national relay teams of medals when a team member, including alternates, has been suspended for, or admitted to, doping.

USADA announced Cox's suspension, saying her results since 2001 had been disqualified because of the use of prohibited anabolic agents and hormones between 2001 and 2004.

The suspension could mean all members of the U.S. 4x400 team, including Cox who ran in a preliminary round and finalists Monique Henderson, Monique Hennagan, Sanya Richards and Deedee Trotter, lose their medals.

Hennagan, who won gold in the 4x400 at the Sydney Games four years earlier but was stripped of it after teammate Marion Jones admitted to doping and has since appealed the decision, is now at risk of losing a second Olympic gold medal.

(Editing by Miles Evans)