Ex-Olympic Gold Sprinter Found Dead

Pettigrew lost gold medal after doping scandal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2010 2:02 AM CDT
The US men's 4x400-meter relay team, with Antonio Pettigrew at left, celebrates after winning the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Sydney. All four were later stripped of their medals.   (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle, File)
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(Newser) – Former world champion sprinter Antonio Pettigrew has been found dead in the backseat of his car in North Carolina. Pettigrew, 42, was part of the American 4x400-meter relay squad that won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, only be be stripped of their medals after Pettigrew confessed to being part of a doping program.

Pettigrew, a four-time national champion, leaves a wife and son. Investigators say they don't suspect foul play. He was found near the University of North Carolina campus where he had worked as a coach. "We are deeply saddened to learn of Antonio's death," UNC athletic director Dick Baddour told the Charlotte Observer. "I was particularly impressed with the relationships he established with his student-athletes and the pride he took in representing the University of North Carolina."

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