Moscow — Two-time Olympic champion Yuriy Sedykh has died in a hammer throw, which still has world records since 1986. He was 66 years old.
The Russian Athletics Federation said Siddiq died early Tuesday following a heart attack.
“I deeply mourn the disappearance of Yuriy Sedykh,” wrote Sergey Bubka, senior vice president of World Athletics and the great pole vaulter, on Twitter. “For me, Yuri was a friend and a wise mentor.”
Sedik won gold medals at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, but was unable to compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Games due to the Soviet boycott. He returned to win the silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won the world title in 1991.
Sedykh set a world record of 86.74 meters (about 284 feet) at the European Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. At this year’s Tokyo Olympics, all 12 men’s hammer finalists were born after Siddiq set a record.
Sedykh made his big throw when athletics was beginning to recognize the scale of performance-enhancing drug use.
In last year’s book, Grigory Rochenkov, a former director of the Anti-Dopingo Institute in Moscow, wrote that Siddiq was a “giant steroid abuser” who benefited from Soviet concealment. According to Rochenkov, one of the Siddiq samples contained a large amount of the steroid stanozolol that would contaminate the laboratory equipment.
Siddiq denied doping. In a 2015 interview with the Russian newspaper Sport Express, Sedykh said the big throws of athletes in the 1980s were due to better coaching and the Soviet Union’s intensive talent scouting program.
After retiring, Siddiq worked as a PE teacher in France. He married another Soviet world record holder, Shot Put Natalya Lisovskaya. Their daughter Alexia won the French Hammer Gold at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.