Angelo Taylor

Angelo Taylor
Taylor in blue-cropped.jpg
Taylor at the 2008 ISTAF Berlin
Personal information
Born (1978-12-29) December 29, 1978 (age 43)
Albany, Georgia, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)
Sport
Country United States
SportAthletics
Event(s)400m Hurdles, 4 × 400m Relay
College teamGeorgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Angelo F. Taylor (born December 29, 1978) is an American track and field athlete, coach, and winner of 400-meter hurdles at the 2000 and 2008 Summer Olympics, who has been suspended by the United States Center for SafeSport for sexual misconduct since 2019.[1] His personal record for the 400 m hurdles is 47.25 seconds, tied with Félix Sánchez for #14 all time. Taylor also has a 400-meter dash best of 44.05 seconds, which is #25 all time. He won the bronze medal in the 400 m at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics. He is a three-time world champion in the 4×400 m relay with the United States (2007, 2009, and 2011), and was a relay gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.

Taylor was suspended by the United States Center for SafeSport in 2019, after being charged with child molestation relative to two incidents with separate 15-year-olds, and pleading guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.[1][2]

Career

Early life

Born in Albany, Georgia, Taylor studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology and won the NCAA title in 1998 and placed second in 1997. In 1998, Taylor won a silver medal at the US National Championships. He went on to win the title three times from 1999 to 2001.

Taylor made his debut in a major international meet at the 1999 World Championships, where he finished third in his heat in the 400 m hurdles, but ran a third leg on the gold medal-winning US 4x400 m relay team.

2000 Olympic champion

In 2000, Taylor ran a world-leading time at the Olympic Trials and entered the Sydney Games as a favorite. In a thrilling final, Taylor moved from fourth place to first over the final two hurdles and barely edged Saudi Arabia's Hadi Souan Somayli by 0.03 seconds in the closest finish in the history of the event. Taylor ran in the heat and semifinal of 4x400 m relay race, the finals team for which won the gold medal.

On August 2, 2008, the International Olympic Committee stripped the gold medal from the U.S. men's 4x400-meter relay team, after Antonio Pettigrew admitted using a banned substance.[3] Three of the four runners in the event final, including Pettigrew and twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison, and preliminary round runner Jerome Young, all admitted or tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.[3] Only Taylor and world record holder Michael Johnson were not implicated.[3]

Taylor was eliminated in the semifinals of the 2001 World Championships in 400 m hurdles while struggling with a sinus infection and flu, but won a gold as a member of US 4x400 m relay team. He didn't make the US World Championships team in 2003, and was unsuccessful in defending his Olympic title at the 2004 Summer Olympics, finishing fourth in the semifinal.

Second Olympic title

In 2007 Taylor set a new personal best in the 400 m and won the American title in the event. He won the 400 m bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, and won another gold medal as part of the USA 4×400m relay team.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Taylor became a double Olympic champion, winning gold in the 400 metre hurdles and the 4×400 m relay. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics he failed to make it out of the heats of the hurdles, but was part of the American 4×400 m relay team which successfully defended its world title.

Taylor finished second in the 200m at the 2010 Rieti IAAF Grand Prix in August with a new personal record time of 20.23 seconds.[4] He fell behind Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson in the hurdles rankings that year, but in the 2010 IAAF Diamond League he managed top-three finishes in Lausanne, Monaco, and Stockholm. He had a season's best of 47.79 seconds for the event that year. He also had two podium finishes in the 400 m, coming second at the Golden Gala and third in a season's best of 44.72 seconds at the Weltklasse Zurich.[5]

He came third in the 400 m hurdles at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a season's best run of 47.94 seconds, gaining a place on the national team. He won at the Herculis meeting in July, but did not peak for the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, where he finished seventh in the final.[6] He performed well in the relay, however, taking the United States to victory in a time of 2:59.31 minutes, alongside Greg Nixon, Bershawn Jackson and LaShawn Merritt.

Taylor began his 2012 season with a runner-up finish at the Mt. SAC Relays. He was third over 400 m at the Doha 2012 Diamond League meet and won the first 400 m hurdles race in Shanghai.[7]

2012 London Olympics

Taylor was captain of the USA men's track Olympic squad in his fourth Olympics. The two-time 400m hurdles gold medalist finished fifth in the event in a time of 48.25.[8] In the 4x400m relay finals, Taylor ran the anchor leg and was given the lead but was chased down by the Bahamas, so the USA team won the silver medal.

Criminal history

Taylor was arrested twice in 2005, in incidents involving two different 15-year-olds, and charged in a Georgia court with two felony counts of child molestation and with enticing a child for indecent purposes.[2][1][9] He had been arrested by police who discovered him nude with a 15-year-old girl in the back seat of his car before 1 a.m. in Fork Creek Mountain Park in DeKalb County, east of Atlanta.[1] The felony charges against him could have each resulted in a 20-year prison sentence.[1] A month later Taylor was arrested for molesting another 15-year-old girl, in December 2004.[1]

In January 2006, in a plea bargain, he pled guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.[10][1] Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott sentenced him to three years' probation, a $2,500 fine, and to be evaluated for sex offender treatment.[11][12][13]

SafeSport suspension

On April 26, 2019, USA Track & Field and the United States Center for SafeSport received a complaint about Taylor coaching at a suburban Atlanta youth track club, the East Atlanta Track Club, which given his criminal background was in violation of SafeSport's Code.[2] He was also on the board of directors for USA Track & Field's Georgia association.[1]

On May 16, 2019, the Orange County Register published an exposé of the failure of the United States Center for SafeSport to suspend Taylor for weeks, after SafeSport had received notification of his criminal convictions, as required by the United States Center for SafeSport Code.[1][14] Former Olympic swimmer Katherine Starr said: "(Taylor) should be permanently banned. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation... This (case) is really infuriating. We continue to have a system riddled with fallacies."[1] The newspaper opined: "The Taylor case ... raises further concerns about effectiveness of the SafeSport network."[1]

Later that day, USA Track & Field issued a "provisional suspension" of Taylor.[15][2] He was placed on USATF's list of suspended individuals, where as of February 2022 he still remained.[16] It was nearly three weeks after USATF and SafeSport had received the complaint.[15][9]

SafeSport officially noted Taylor's violation that same day, and declared him "ineligible".[2] SafeSport announced as its reason: “Criminal Disposition - involving minor.”[16]

Statistics

Personal bests

Event Best Location Date
100 metres 10.58 Athens, GA 19 April 2008
200 metres 20.23 Rieti, Italy 29 August 2010
300 metres 32.67 Liège, Belgium 27 August 2002
400 metres 44.05 Indianapolis, IN 23 June 2007
400 metres hurdles 47.25 Beijing, China 18 August 2008

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Teammate Antonio Pettigrew later admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and the IAAF disqualified the team.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Scott M. Reid (May 16, 2019). "Olympic champ Angelo Taylor continues to coach despite guilty plea in Georgia case; Case raises issues about USA Track & Field, U.S. Center for SafeSport policies and background checks". The Orange County Register.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mike Rowbottom (May 22, 2019). "Double Olympic 400m hurdles champion Angelo Taylor suspended from coaching for past sexual misconduct charges". Inside the Games.
  3. ^ a b c Wilson, Stephen (August 2, 2008). "IOC strips gold from 2000 US relay team". Associated Press.
  4. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-08-29). Rudisha lowers 800m World record again, 1:41.01; Carter dashes 9.78sec in Rieti – IAAF World Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-08-30.
  5. ^ Angelo Taylor. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  6. ^ Angelo Taylor at World Athletics
  7. ^ Johnson, Len (2012-05-19). Liu Xiang and G. Dibaba the standouts in rainy Shanghai – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  8. ^ "Taylor Finishes Fifth In 400-meter Hurdle Olympic Finals". ramblinwreck.com. August 6, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Scott M. Reid (May 16, 2019). "USATF suspends two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor; Suspension comes three weeks after complaint filed with USATF and U.S. Center for SafeSport". The Orange County Register.
  10. ^ "Angelo Taylor beating back the demons". World Athletics. February 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "Angelo Taylor beating back the demons". International Association of Athletics Federations. February 3, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Bigg, Matthew (June 10, 2008). "Angelo Taylor strives for comeback". Reuters. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "National, regional and local briefs". Savannah Morning News. January 19, 2006. Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Maciej Petruczenko (May 17, 2019). "Angelo Taylor, były rywal Marka Plawgi, zawieszony za pedofilię". Onet Sport.
  15. ^ a b "USATF suspends two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor". The Orange County Register. May 16, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "USA Track & Field | Disciplinary Records". USATF.

External links

Awards
Preceded by Men's 400 m Hurdles Best Year Performance
2000
Succeeded by