There was more gold for United States athletes on Day 8th of the 2003 World Athletics Championships in France, as Allen Johnson became the first four-time champion in the 110-meter hurdles. But controversy also plagued Team USA.
Women's double-world sprint champion Kelli White withdrew from the U.S. four-by-100 meter relay team before the final, after testing positive for a stimulant (modafinil), which a doctor prescribed for the sleeping disorder, narcolepsy. Though the medication is not on the IAAF's list of banned substances, federation vice president Arne Ljungqvist said more investigation is needed and that White could still be disqualified because it is related to similar drugs that are banned. Reading from a prepared statement, White explained why she did not declare the drug or seek an exemption for it.
"Given that it was not on the banned list, I think it is understandable why I did not realize I needed to declare it on my doping control form," he said. "I am very concerned that the situation has diverted attention from what has been a wonderful world championships. Because I know that I did nothing wrong, and sought no advantage over my competitors, I am confident that things will work out in the end."
Even without White, the American women ran a season's best time of 41.78 seconds. But it was only good enough for silver, as the French quartet edged them by five-100ths of a second to earn the gold.
Thirty-two-year old Allen Johnson won the world 110-meter hurdles championship for the fourth straight time Saturday night, as he clocked a time of 13.12 seconds.
"You know, honestly, I wasn't even thinking about the time," he said. "I was just thinking about coming out here and winning. I was nervous just because I knew it was going to hard, and I really, really wanted to get my fourth title."
His fellow American, Terrence Trammell took the silver, finishing just eight-100ths of a second back.
In other results Saturday, Morocco's Jaouad Gharib captured the men's marathon gold in 2:08:31 hours. Mirela Manjani of Greece took the women's javelin throw championship with a toss of 66.52-meters, while the women's 5,000 meters gold went to Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia in 14:51.72 minutes. And Frenchwoman Eunice Barber captured the women's long jump with a leap of 6.99 meters.