MOSCOW – Two-time Olympic champion in hammer throw Yuri Sedikh, whose 1986 world record still holds. He was 66 years old.
The Russian Track and Field Federation said Sedikh died of a heart attack early Tuesday.
“Deeply mourn the loss of Yuri Sedikh,” World Athletics senior vice president and pole vault great Sergei Bubka wrote on Twitter. “For me, Yuri was a friend, a wise mentor.”
Sedikh won gold medals at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, but missed the 1984 Los Angeles Games due to the Soviet boycott. He returned to win a silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won the world title in 1991.
Sedikh threw a world record of 86.74 m (about 284 ft) at the European Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, which still holds. At this year’s Tokyo Olympics, all 12 finalists in the men’s hammer were born after Sidakh set the record.
Sedykh made his giant throws at a time when track and field were starting to feel the scale of performance-enhancing drug use.
Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory, wrote in a book last year that Sedikh was “a huge steroid abuser” who benefited from a Soviet cover-up. Rodchenkov said Sedikh’s samples contained such large traces of stanozolol that it contaminated laboratory equipment.
Sedikh denied doping. In a 2015 interview with Russian newspaper Sport Express, Sedikh said that athletes’ big throws in the 1980s were due to better coaching and the Soviet Union’s intensive talent scouting program.
After retiring, Sedykh worked as a physical education teacher in France. He was married to another Soviet world record holder, shot putter Natalya Lisovskaya. His daughter Alexia won hammer gold for France at the 2010 Youth Olympics.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times