World 400m champion Jerome Young of the US has been banned for life for a second doping violation, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced on Wednesday.
Young tested positive for human recombinant Erythropoietin (r-EPO), a blood-boosting agent banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), at the Gaz de France in Paris on July 23, USADA confirmed.
Young was caught for taking the anabolic steroid nandrolone in June 1999.
"Young, 28, was suspended for life from all sanctioned competition beginning November 3, 2004. Under IAAF rules, which incorporate the World Anti-Doping Code, the sanction for a second doping offense is a lifetime suspension," a USADA statement said.
Wednesday's announcement confirmed reports in the French press in August of Young's positive test after the Golden League meeting in Paris prior to the Athens Olympics.
Young, who was not selected for the Olympics in Athens, finished sixth in the French capital in a slow time of 45.84 seconds.
He is the first top sprinter to test positive for EPO which has been a popular drug with endurance athletes and cyclists for over 15 years.
It boosts performance by increasing the volume of oxygen-rich red blood cells in the blood.
Compatriot Kelli White, however, told US athletics officials that she had taken EPO after testing postitive for the stimulant Modafinil during last year's world championships in Paris where she won the 100m and 200m titles.
Young's 1999 doping case is still causing controversy because the following year he was part of the US 4x400m relay team that won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.
The US athletics federation took no action against Young.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled that all of Young's results for two years from his failed 1999 test must be annulled, and is expected to strip the Americans of their 2000 Olympic relay gold.