Sad to hear, doesn't sound good...
Sad to hear, doesn't sound good...
He will always be known as a cheat but he was a stand up guy, and heck of a sprinter in his younger days.
I commend UNC for sticking with him even after his admission and he turned the sprint program around. Plain and simple he was a fan of the sport and I will miss talking to him at meets.
It is indeed sad, particularly since he died at 42. Regardless of his history, RIP.
I knew Antonio Pettigrew as an athlete first and then later as a colleague and a eventually a friend. We had tremendous differences in our professional relationship and we butted heads daily. However, I grew to respect Antonio for two reasons: his capacity to change and his willingness to be honest. These are rare in any person and even rarer in a professional athlete who must eventually forge a life for himself and his family.
I also watched him become a better person and coach after he admitted to his use of PEDs. In those days, our frienship really grew.
I refuse to judge any person by one single episode or incident in their lives. To do so would be to deny the complexity of humankind.
Instead, I will choose to remember Antonio for what did he bring to this life.
Wow. I just saw him at Penn Relays and talked to occassionally in the mid 90's at track meets.
He was easy to speak to.
shocked and sad. RIP
Hemorrhaging (in the brain?) is being cited in a police report, I think.
This was just sent to me. No cause of death yet.
UNC TRACK COACH FOUND DEAD IN CHATHAM COUNTY
August 10- At 3:15 am, Chatham County deputies responded to Hwy 751 in eastern Chatham County in reference to a well being check of a man that friends found in a vehicle. Raymond Langley of Durham and Peter Watson of Carrboro, co-workers of Antonio Pettigrew of 7848 Percussion Drive, Apex were looking for him when he didn’t show up for work this morning. They attempted to retrace is route to work and shortly afterwards found him unresponsive in the backseat of his 2008 White Dodge Aspen on a bridge on US 751 near Jordan Lake.
Chatham Deputies and EMS arrived and found Pettigrew was deceased when no apparent trauma. There were indications that Pettigrew may have taken the sleep aid Unisom but it is still unclear if this is what caused his death. An autopsy was ordered by the local medical examiner and his body was transported to UNC Hospital.
Wake County Deputies responded to Pettigrew’s residence in Apex after his wife reported him missing. He was last heard from around 10:30 am on August 9. No further at this time.
> Gary Blankenship
> Major Gary Blankenship
> Chief of Staff
> Chatham County Sheriff's Office
> PO Box 429
> Pittsboro, NC 27312
> (919) 545-8124
Very sad, especially after he appeared to get up off the canvas and start a new productive (and sucessful) life in coaching. Indeed, he was so approachable, friendly and appreciative of support. A down to earth person if there ever was. Its just so damned unfortunate he had the misfortune to ever cross paths with Trevor Graham down at NCSU. I remember speaking to him for almost an hour out in Eugene in 2001- talking track, and about our mutual home town back in NC. Saw him a few more times over the years- he always remembered our time chatting in Eugene.
He was a good friend, met him first at back in 94 working as a volunteer at a NCAA D2 meet, great runner and a great person, I'll miss him
Antonio was a great athlete and a wonderful human being. I competed against him on numerous occasions and he was gracious when he won a race and when he didn't. My prayers go out to him and his family.
I for one do not immediately think of his steroid use. I remember the way he ran unbelievable relay legs for the USA time and time again. Antonio, along with guys like Darold Williamson, proved that some people are just plain DIFFERENT with that baton in their hands.
Remember that BEFORE he used any steroids, he was the 1991 World Champion at 400m. I really wish Antonio was still alive, because I'd love the chance to talk to him. He was one of my favorite track athletes.
I'll always remember his leg of the 4x400m WR, rounding the turn in lane 2.
When Tony was at Santa Fe CC in Gainesville, I took him and two other teammates to Tallahassee for Last Chance Track meet. Since I was driving a pickup truck two guys rode in the back on the way over. Coming home, about halfway back to Gainesville, Tony started furiously tapping on the back window. I pulled over. Tony said "It's freezing back here!". So we squeezed four guys in the front, and made it back.
Tony was a good guy, always easy to talk to after he made the big time. To bad he got messed up with Sprint Capital.
The funny things is that his best accomplishment came in 1991, I think his last year at St Augs when he won that World Championship.
He just went out hard and hung on to hold off Roger Black but Black got him back in the relay.
I think Pettigrew's time was around 44.6.
That year, Michael Johnson chose to run the 200, Butch Reynolds was serving a suspension, Steve Lewis was hurt, Danny Everett was off his game and Quincy Watts hadn't come into form yet.
They were all in their prime at that time. Pettigrew was was lucky to even be on the realy team let alone win an individual Gold medal.
Years later he starts to train with Trevor Graham and starts running these phenomenal realy splits. I believe he split 43.2.
So the irony is that getting with the wrong crowd improved his ability but did not get him an individual title while tainting his earlier individual title that may have been clean.
I am sure that tormented him.
When I saw him in April I wondered how hard it was for him to be in the track community while people were judging him. I think it would be easier to stay away from track, especially since no one follows these things outside of the sport.
So sad. In all the interactions I had with him he was classy, personable and entertaining. Surely a component of any meaningful anti PED argument will be the words and deeds of those athletes who used PED's and despite being able to hide from the authorities, discovered that they could not hide from themselves.