Olympic relay runner and former ‘Survivor‘ contestant, Crystal Cox, has admitted to using anabolic steroids from 2001 to 2004. She will be stripped of all her medals from that period and suspended for four years, according to the the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The admission on Friday came after an investigation that was triggered by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative Case that has placed several other doping athletes – like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire – in the spotlight.
Cox, was part of the 1,600-meter relay team who won the gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004. She will likely be stripped of that medal, but it’s unclear if her teammates will lose out as well.
According to USA Today, athletes in similar situations have lost their medals and then fought to get them back.
“You’ve got to give her credit for accepting responsibility,” says USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart. Although he doesn’t know what will happen to her teammates, he says, “Hopefully this sends a strong message that if you’re going to succumb to the temptation, you have to remember the terrible position you’re putting your teammates in.”
USA Track and Field spokeswoman Jill Geer agrees, “Unfortunately, when one athlete cheats, all the other athletes lose out, whether it’s their teammates or their competitors,” Geer said. “They’re all cheated out of something.”
Cox was the thirteenth cast member eliminated in Survivor: Gabon in 2008.
Watch Crystal talk about her time on ‘Survivor’: