The International Olympic Committee yesterday stripped gold medals from the United States men's 1,600-meter relay team that competed at the 2000 Olympics in the aftermath of Antonio Pettigrew's admission that he was doping at the time.
The IOC executive board disqualified the entire team, the fourth gold and sixth overall medal stripped from that US track contingent in the past eight months for doping.
Three gold and two bronze were previously removed after Marion Jones confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs.
Yesterday's decision was almost a formality after Pettigrew gave up his gold medal in June. During a trial involving former track coach Trevor Graham, he admitted in May that he used EPO and human growth hormone from 1997-2003.
Five of Pettigrew's teammates also lose their medals: Michael Johnson and twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison ran in the final; Jerome Young and Angelo Taylor ran in the preliminaries.
It was Johnson's fifth gold medal of his stellar career. He has already said he was giving it back because he felt "cheated, betrayed, and let down" by Pettigrew's testimony. Johnson still holds world records in the 200 and 400 meters.
Three of the four runners from the relay final have been tainted.
Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting he used performance-enhancers. Calvin Harrison tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2003 and was suspended for two years. Young was banned for life for doping violations.
Rogge addressed a number of the issues that have made the Beijing Games among the most politically contentious in history.
The IOC has come under fire for failing to get China to live up to promises to improve its human rights record, clean up Beijing's noxious smog, and provide unfettered Internet access to the media.
But Rogge compared the situation to the rocky buildup to the Athens Olympics four years ago, when there were last-minute concerns over whether the venues would be ready on time.
"It's a totally different ballgame," he said at a news conference. "Today we have absolutely no concerns about the organization. No regrets. Come the 9th of August, the magic of the Games and the flawless organization will take over."