Posted by: Joe English | August 2, 2008

Track and Field: USATF to re-examine men’s 4x400m American record in light of doping violation

According to the organization USA Track and Field (USATF), governing body of track in the United States, USATF CEO Doug Logan on Thursday requested that the men’s 4×400-meter American record be re-examined in light of recent doping revelations.

The team of Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington and Michael Johnson in 1998 ran 2:54.20 to set the American and world record in the relay, but Pettigrew in May admitted to engaging in doping activities dating back to 1997. As part of his penalty issued on June 3, 2008, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency invalidated all of Pettigrew’s results beginning in 1997 – a time frame that includes the 4x400m relay record.

Logan has written to USATF Men’s Track & Field Chair John Chaplin to request that the record be brought up for reconsideration at USATF’s 2008 Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada. Records are subject to official ratification or de-ratification once per year at USATF’s Annual Meeting, and the Men’s Track & Field Committee has oversight of men’s records.

“Removing this record is the right thing to do, pure and simple,” Logan said. “We have no interest in a record that the facts – not rumors – have exposed as being achieved by fraudulent means by at least one athlete on the team. Obviously, Tyree Washington and Michael Johnson played no part in the doping activities of others, and it is a shame that they may suffer as a result. But our message is clear: compete clean, win clean and break records clean. Or, get out of our sport and out of our record books.”

Although he was eligible to compete in 1998 and his results from that year still stand, Jerome Young in 2004 was banned for life from the sport for a second doping violation. On June 17 of this year, after he admitted to more comprehensive doping, USADA retroactively invalidated his results back to January 1, 1999.

If put forward for de-ratification by the Men’s Track & Field Committee and approved by the Records Committee in December, the American record would go to the U.S. team of Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Butch Reynolds and Michael Johnson, who ran 2:54.29 to win the 1993 World Outdoor Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Content: USATF
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