In 1998, Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington and Michael Johnson set the American 4x400m record with a time of 2:54.20. That record is in discussions to be removed, with the 2:54.29 that was run in the 1993 World Outdoor Championships getting reinstated. Young was banned for life in 2004, and Pettigrew has recently admitted to doping as far back as 1997.
“Removing this record is the right thing to do, pure and simple,” USATF CEO Doug Logan said. “We have no interest in a record that the facts – not rumors – have exposed as being achieved by fraudulent means by at least one athlete on the team. Obviously, Tyree Washington and Michael Johnson played no part in the doping activities of others, and it is a shame that they may suffer as a result. But our message is clear: compete clean, win clean and break records clean. Or, get out of our sport and out of our record books.”
I hope that the record is removed, and I hope that athletes are taking notice. I am sure that Michael Johnson would agree; he has already returned a gold medal from the 2000 Olympics that he had won on a different team with Pettigrew. Michael Johnson will still own the American record, since he was also on the 1993 team. The real victim here is Tyree Washington.