Gatlin to face “substantial consequences” for steroids use

NEW YORK, USA, July 31, 2006 – As US sprinter Justin Gatlin’s admission that he tested positive for doping became public this weekend, USA Track & Field officials quickly announced, “it doesn’t matter who you are. If you test positive for a banned substance, you will face substantial consequences.”

A hearing is set before the USADA Review Board shortly and if he is found guilty, Gatlin, under IAAF rules, will face a lifetime ban and could never race again. The IAAF, the international athletics body, also weighed in with President Lamine Diack stating, “Although it is a matter of deep regret that one of the biggest stars of our sport is facing serious doping charges, I would take this opportunity to emphasize the IAAF’s total commitment to the fight against doping.”

But the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says it will not comment on the facts of any active case since the rules they follow allow for a full and fair process prior to the details of any case being made public.

“Anyone accused of a doping violation has a right to have his or her case determined on the evidence through the established process and not on any other basis,” CEO Terry Madden said this weekend.

Gatlin, who holds the world record for the fastest man with Jamaican Asafa Powell, on Saturday announced that he tested positive for testosterone or other prohibited steroids on April, 22, 2006 at the Kansas Relays. He has tested positive for a banned substance in the past, taking Adderall in college for attention deficit disorder.

But his coach, Trevor Graham, told Jamaican television he believes the sprinter was “sabotaged” by someone whom then had fired and then rehired.

“We are 100 percent sure who it is,” Graham said. “The individual that did it, it’s an individual that we fired and we went back and hired … he came to the Kansas relay and was (upset) with Justin. We are trying to go after the individual. Hopefully we can prove our case, but we know who the person is and how it got into his system.”

The Jamaican-born coach interestingly is the same man who gave the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a syringe containing the designer steroid THG in June 2003, which helped unravel the BALCO steroid case, the biggest performance-enhancing drug scandal in U.S. sports history. But ex-world record holder Tim Montgomery has accused him of also dispensing banned drugs garnered from Mexico. Graham, of Sprint Capitol USA, has repeatedly denied any drug involvement. He runs the stable that has produced top U.S. athletes including not just Gatlin, but Shawn Crawford and Marion Jones. (Hardbeatnews.com)


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