Antonio Pettigrew, who was stripped of an Olympic gold medal after admitting to doping, died yesterday. The sprinter was found dead in the back seat of his locked car; authorities said they were unsure if his death was accidental or a suicide – there was evidence that the 42-year-old had taken sleeping pills.
Born in November 1967 in Macon, Georgia, Pettigrew came to prominence at the 1991 World Championships, where he won the 400 metres gold medal and a silver medal in the 4x400m relay. The zenith of his career was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, when he was in the US's gold medal-winning team in the 4x400m relay.
Later, however, during the trial of his former coach Trevor Graham, he admitted using human growth hormone and EPO between 1997 and 2001, and was stripped of his 1999 World Championship and 2000 Olympic relay gold medals. He was banned for two years, though he had already retired.
He went into athletics coaching, and was an assistant track coach at the University of North Carolina at the time of his death.