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Andreea Raducan asks IOC for gold medal back from 2000 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Fifteen years after being stripped of her Olympic gold medal following a positive drug test, former Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan went to the IOC to see whether she could get it back. She got sympathy, but not the medal.

Raducan was 16 when she won the all-around gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. She also led Romania to team gold and won silver in the vault.

The IOC stripped her of the individual all-around title after she tested positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned stimulant contained in a cold remedy she had received from the team doctor. She kept the other two medals.

Raducan approached International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in Bucharest last year in hopes of being reinstated as the all-around champion. Bach invited her to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, where the two met on Thursday.

The IOC said Raducan was not to blame for the positive test, saying, "it was apparent that she unknowingly took the substance on the advice of her team doctor."

But the IOC said the rules of strict liability, whereby athletes are responsible for any banned substance found in their system, applied in her case.

"This decision was very tough for Andreea and was not easily taken by the IOC at the time," Bach said. "It shows how strict our anti-doping rules are by having to apply the principle of strict liability of the athlete.

"On the other hand, I feel a great deal of sympathy for her because she has to suffer from a mistake by her team doctor. Even more so because this happened at the age of 16, when as an athlete you have absolute confidence in your medical team."

The IOC said Bach, a former Olympic gold medalist in fencing, thanked Raducan "for her work for sport in her country, where she is considered a great role model."

For her part, Raducan was grateful for the chance to put forward her case.

"I know that the president understands my disappointment," she said in the IOC statement. "As a gymnast you only usually get one Games to show the world what you can do."