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Sunday, August 8, 2004
Young reportedly tests positive for EPO

Associated Press

PARIS -- Jerome Young reportedly tested positive for the banned drug EPO at a meet last month, which would be the second flunked test for a sprinter who might cost the U.S. relay team its gold medal from the Sydney Olympics.

Young would face a lifetime ban if he is found guilty.

The French sports daily L'Equipe reported Sunday that Young's sample from a July 23 meet in Saint Denis contained traces of the endurance-boosting drug. L'Equipe, which based its report on anonymous sources, said a laboratory is analyzing a second sample.

Istvan Gyulai, secretary general of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said he could not confirm the report, but he added: "If everything is correct and this is a doping offense, it is very clearly a life suspension."

Young's attorney, Stephen Chien, did not return a phone call for comment.

Young, the 400-meter world champion, did not qualify for the Athens Olympics.

He tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999 and was stripped of his gold medal from the 1,600-meter relay team, which included Michael Johnson. The IAAF recommended last month that the entire team be penalized because Young should have been ineligible.

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday delayed a final ruling on the rest of the relay team's medals, pending appeals.

Young would be the first sprinter to test positive for EPO, which is popular with endurance runners and cyclists. Tests for EPO were introduced at the 2000 Sydney Games. Sprinter Kelli White admitted she used EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs earlier this year when she accepted a two-year ban for doping.