New York: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has demanded that Olympic officials launch an inquiry into the US gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The demand was prompted by an article in the Los Angeles Times that alleged Jerome Young, a member of the US relay squad, tested positive for a banned steroid a year before the Games.
According to the report, Young, winner of the 400m at the world championships in Paris on Tuesday, was cleared by USA Track and Field (USATF) after an appeal.
“The legitimacy of the US win in the 1,600m relay in Sydney is now shattered,” said WADA president Dick Pound in a statement on Wednesday. “By not reporting the positive result to the IAAF immediately, the USATF engaged in a conspiracy of silence. The doping violation by Young was overturned by the USATF and no one else had the opportunity to review the case.”
Pound said he had written to IOC chief Jacques Rogge and asked the IOC to get the full facts in the case and take appropriate measures as soon as possible.
“I believe that the IOC must act decisively in this matter to preserve the ethical values of Olympic sport and the image of the Olympic Games,” he wrote.
According to the LA Times, the 27-year-old American was allowed to run in the 4x400 relay team at the 2000 Olympics after he won an internal appeal but his name has never been revealed.
Olympic officials told the newspaper they should have been informed of the initial results. However, USA Track and Field (USATF) officials defended themselves by saying that as he was ultimately cleared there was no need to go through such a process and on Wednesday said that all the cases during the period of 1996-2000 were closed.