Former 200 metre Olympic champion Pietro Mennea has died in a Rome clinic at the age of 60.
No cause of death has so far been announced.
The Italian set a new 200m world record at altitude in Mexico City in 1979 with a time of 19.72 seconds.
It was a record that stood for 17 years until Michael Johnson beat the mark in 1996.
His record does however remain a European best.
The Barletta-born sprinter known as the ‘Arrow of the South’ produced one of his most impressive performances en route to Olympic glory in Moscow.
Mennea made a remarkable comeback in the final few metres to pip Britain’s Alan Wells to gold.
He competed in five Olympics, appearing in four consecutive 200m finals.