GROSSETO, Italy – The International Association of Athletics Federations (search) said Sunday that the U.S. 1,600-meter relay team, led by Michael Johnson (search), should be stripped of its Olympic gold in Sydney as part of the Jerome Young (search) doping case.
The IAAF, which held an unusual council meeting here, will now make recommendations to the International Olympic Committee, which the IOC is expected to accept.
The announcement came 2 1/2 weeks after the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled 400-meter world champion Young, who ran in the 1,600-meter relay's opening and semifinal rounds, should be stripped of his Olympic gold because of a positive doping test in 1999.
Young, who has denied taking a prohibited substance, was exonerated by a USA Track and Field doping appeals board on July 10, 2000.
The gold was the fifth and final for Johnson, the 200- and 400-meter world record holder who ran the anchor leg in the relay final. Other members of the team were twin brothers Alvin and Calvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew and Angelo Taylor.
The team members will be invited to present their case at a hearing, either in person or in writing.
If the IOC sticks to the IAAF's recommendation, Nigeria would be upgraded to gold, Jamaica to silver and the Bahamas to bronze.