– Former professional track athlete Antonio Pettigrew was found dead in
the early-morning hours of Tuesday, August 10, in North Carolina’s
Chatham County, University of North Carolina Officials told USATF. A
1992 graduate of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C., the
42-year-old Pettigrew had worked as an assistant track coach for UNC for
Further details surrounding Pettigrew’s death are pending and are under investigation by the Chatham County Sheriff.
USATF family extends our condolences to all of Antonio’s family,
friends and colleagues,” said USATF Chairman and President Stephanie
Hightower. “The track and field community is very tight-knit, and news
like this affects everyone deeply.”
Pettigrew’s athletic career
ran the gamut from the pinnacle of achievement to the scourge of drugs.
While actively competing, he was a three-time world champion in the
4x400m relay, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in
the relay and the 1991 world champion in the open 400 meters. He had won
five U.S. Outdoor 400m titles over span of 12 years and at one time
served on USATF’s Board of Directors as a representative of the Athletes
As a professional athlete, Pettigrew
trained with Trevor Graham, who has since received a lifetime ban from
the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in investigations related to the BALCO
scandal. In 2008, Pettigrew admitted to having used
performance-enhancing drugs during his career and accepted having all
his competitive results since January, 1997 nullified. He lost the gold
medals he won on the 4x400m relay at the 2000 Olympic Games and 1997 and
1999 World Championships, as well as the 4x400m world record he was
part of, set in 1998. He retained his 1991 world title, three U.S.
outdoor championships from 1989, ’91 and ’94, and the 1994 World Cup
Pettigrew is survived by his wife and young son.
About USA Track & Field
Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and
field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.
USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the
most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior
high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners
in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org