200m world record holder for 17 years Pietro Mennea has died aged 60, according to BBC.
The former Olympic champion won 200m gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, although the United States did not compete for political reasons.
The Italian was also a 4x400 relay bronze medallist in Moscow and took 200m bronze in Munich at the 1972 Olympics.
No cause of death has been revealed yet but the Italian National Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago has said that the Olympic Champion's body would lay in state at Olympic Committee headquarters.
Mennea ran the fastest ever 200m seen at the time in September 1979 with a time of 19.72 seconds. He held the record for well over a decade before Micheal Johnson beat it by six tenths in 1996.
Usain Bolt now holds the fastest time after he smashed Johnson's record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a staggering time of 19.19.