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I will never give gold medal back – banned Young

July 21, 2005

By Gene Cherry

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) – Banned American
sprinter Jerome Young lashed out at U.S. and international
athletics officials Thursday after the Court of Arbitration for
Sport (CAS) recommended he forfeit his Sydney Olympics relay
gold.

“I will never give the medal back,” the Jamaican-born Young
told Reuters in a telephone interview from Fort Worth, Texas.

“I was their scapegoat,” said the unemployed Young, who
said he was being threatened with eviction from his apartment
for rent due. “I am not going to give up a medal for something
I did not do.”

Athletics’ world ruling body, the IAAF, had recommended to
the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the American
4×400 meters relay squad be stripped of their medals because of
a doping violation by squad member Young in 1999.

The CAS upheld an appeal by U.S. athletics officials to end
a lengthy battle over the golds won by Michael Johnson’s squad.

Thursday’s decision means five-times Olympic champion
Johnson and four other members keep their gold medals but the
court recommended that Young, subsequently banned for life for
another doping offence, should lose his.

“Why are they prolonging it?” Young, now 28, asked. “They
already know what they are going to do.”

Lausanne-based CAS had ruled in 2004 that Young should not
have been allowed to run in Sydney because of the 1999 positive
test for the anabolic steroid nandrolone, which carried a
two-year ban at the time.

A secret hearing of a U.S. appeals panel had decided to
ignore the positive test and allow Young to run in Sydney.

Following CAS’s decision in 2004 the IAAF decided that the
U.S. result should be annulled and Nigeria, who finished
second, be given the relay gold medal.

But CAS ruled Thursday that decision by the IAAF was
incorrect.

Young was later banned for life by the United States
Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a second positive test, for EPO.

Young denied Thursday having taken any
performance-enhancing drugs and called the positive test for
EPO “crazy.”

He also criticized U.S. athletics officials.

“USA Track & Field should be standing up for me,” he said.
“They have turned their backs on me. It’s like I never
existed.”

Young also claimed the IAAF owed him $90,000 in prize money
from his 2003 400 meters world championship and the grand prix
final.

“After all of this,” Young said, “I feel like life is not
worth living.”




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