Dominican sprinter Luguelin Santos has been stripped of his World Junior Championships gold medal and banned for three years for age manipulation violations, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.
Santos, now 31, won 400 metres gold at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
In a statement, the AIU said Santos had “admitted to competing in the 2012 age-group championships with a passport showing a falsified date of birth—12 November 1993 – when in fact he was born on that date in 1992. Thus, he was ineligible to participate in the World Juniors 2012, which, based on the 2012 Competition Rules, required junior athletes to be aged 18 or 19 on 31 December of the competition year.”
Santos, who is also a two-time Youth Olympic champion, went on to win a silver medal in the 400m at the 2012 London Olympics.
“Unlike with sanctions for doping violations, there is no basis on which to annul his Olympic result as that was not an age-group event and no violation was committed there,” said Brett Clothier, Head of the AIU.
When Santos crossed the finish line in London, he became, with the false birthdate, the youngest Olympic men’s 400m medalist in history. With Santos’ correct birthdate, 1988 Olympic champion Steve Lewis of Great Britain remains the youngest men’s 400m medalist, according to Olympedia.org.
At the 2012 World Juniors, American Arman Hall was the original silver medalist behind Santos. It is unclear if officials will upgrade Hall to champion.
Santos was part of the Dominican Republic’s Olympic silver-medal mixed-gender 4x400m team at the Tokyo Games, where he ran in the first round but not the final.
He last raced individually at a global championship at the 2018 World Indoors.