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Slay Decision Expected Soon

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Officials of USA Wrestling said Tuesday they expect to learn within a week if Brandon Slay will get the freestyle wrestling gold medal he thought he should have won in Sydney, Australia.

The International Olympic Committee’s medical commission recommended Monday that Germany’s Alexander Leipold be stripped of the medal he won in a 4-0 victory over Slay in the 167 1/2-pound class because a post-competition drug test detected in Leipold’s urine 10 times the maximum permitted level of nandrolone, an anabolic steroid.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and the IOC’s executive board must ratify the decision for Slay to get the gold, but their compliance is expected.

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Should the IOC take away his medal, Leipold can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, Jim Scherr, executive director of USA Wrestling, said he anticipated an appeal would be heard quickly.

Slay remained cautiously optimistic that he will be recognized as the winner.

“I don’t know how many athletes have the opportunity to experience the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory within about two weeks,” Slay said at a news conference in his hometown, Amarillo, Texas, where he was honored with a parade.

“If I do get the gold, it would be my ultimate dream come true. But this silver medal has taught me a lot. I’ve gone to some schools and I’ve told the children there’s more than gold in life, more than silver medals. As long as you put everything you have into whatever you do in life, you’re a winner.”

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