Americans return tainted Gold, at Last!


Ever since former world 400m champion Jerome Young revealed he had failed a drugs test prior to the Sydney Olympics Games in 2000, the whole world have been waiting for the America 4x400m relay team members to return the Gold medal won and hand it over to the rightful winner Nigeria.

The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) tried to strip the team of their Olympic gold medals after Young, who was part of the team but did not run in the final, tested positive for drugs and was banned for life, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overruled the IOC and said the entire team should not be disqualified, allowing them to keep their medals.

It seems common sense has finally prevailed. US anchor and world 400m record-holder Michael Johnson has decided to return the relay gold he won at the Sydney Games, after yet another team mate, this time Antonio Pettigrew admitted taking drugs - the fourth member of that team to have failed a dope test.

Now Pettigrew has also given back his own medal. The 40-year-old made the admission recently whilst testifying at the trial of Trevor Graham, coach of disgraced sprint trio Justin Gatlin, Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, that Graham encouraged him to inject human growth hormone and EPO, both banned substances, from 1997.

His confession follows drugs bans on the Harrison brothers as well as Jerome Young who were also members of the victorious US team.

Calvin Harrison tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2003 and was suspended for two years while Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting he using performance enhancers.

My heart goes to five-times Olympic champion MichaelJohnson for having to lose his hard earned medal this way, but there is no justifiable reason to hang on to that 'tainted' medal any more. Johnson says he will return his Gold medal Pettigrew admitted under oath today that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 1997 to 2001.

Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "I know the medal was not fairly won and that it is dirty and so I have moved it from the location where I have always kept my medals because it doesn't belong there. And it doesn't belong to me."

The medals should now be re-awarded to Nigeria (gold) whilst Jamaica gets the silver and the Bahamas upgraded to bronze.

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