According to officials at the University of North Carolina, former track star and Olympic-gold winner Antonio Pettigrew was found dead today at the age of 42. Pettigrew, who had won gold in 2000 in the 4×400 relay race at the Sydney Olympics, had since had his medal stripped from him (and his teammates) after, in 2008, he had admitted to doping from 1997 to 2003 — specifically the growth hormones EPO and HGH. More recently, he had been working as an assistant athletics coach at the University of North Carolina.
During Pettigrew’s career in track he also had won gold in the 1991 World Championships in the 400 meters as well as gold in the 4×400 relay in 1997 and 1999 — the latter two relay golds, however, had also been stripped from him.
Dick Baddour, the athletics director at North Carolina, noted in a released statement that he was “deeply saddened” by the news and went on to say “I was particularly impressed with the relationships he established with our student-athletes and the pride he took in representing the University of North Carolina.”
He is survived by his wife, Cassandra, and his son, Antonio Pettigrew Junior.