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Young suing USATF, USOC

February 28, 2004 12:55 IST
Jerome Young, whose positive doping case sparked international controversy, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Track & Field (USATF), said USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer.

Geer, in a telephone interview from Boston, told Reuters on Friday that the lawsuit had been filed by the American sprinter's attorneys in U.S. federal court in Indianapolis earlier this month.

"I can confirm that Jerome Young has sued USA Track & Field and the USOC," Geer said.

Young tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in 1999 but was cleared on appeal and allowed to compete at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Electronic court documents confirmed the Indianapolis lawsuit had been filed but provided few details.

The documents did indicate federal judge Sarah Evans Barker had ruled Friday against a request by world 400 metres champion Young's attorneys to have the case heard under seal, which would have prevented his name being mentioned in court.

Geer would not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit and neither Young nor his attorneys could be reached for comment.


The lawsuit was filed on February 4, three days after the USATF, in a letter to

acting USOC president Bill Martin, confirmed for the first time Young's name in the controversial doping case.

USATF had previously refused to name Young, citing confidentiality rules in effect at the time. It also feared litigation if it released his name.

A summary of the court documents, whose contents were sealed, indicated Young's attorneys had sought a temporary restraining order against the USOC and USATF from releasing information about the athlete's case.

Young won a gold medal in Sydney as a member of the U.S. 4x400 metres relay squad, anchored by five times Olympic champion Michael Johnson.

International officials have said they believed Young's clearance was fundamentally flawed and that he should have been found guilty and suspended for two years. If so, he would have been ineligible for the 2000 Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said earlier this month it would take Young's case to the independent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If Young is found to have committed a doping offence which should have resulted in a two-year suspension, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would have to decide whether to amend the Sydney results and take away the U.S. 4x400 team's medals, including Johnson's.

Gene Cherry
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