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Gatlin coach gets US Olympic ban

4 August 2006
bbc.co.uk

Justin Gatlin's controversial coach Trevor Graham has been banned from using US Olympic Committee training centres and facilities.

USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said the decision was based on the unusual number of athletes Graham has coached who have been convicted of doping.

Olympic 100m champion Gatlin tested positive for testosterone in April.

Graham's lawyer Joseph Zeszotarski said: "There is no basis for any ban - Trevor will pursue all legal avenues."

Graham, whose athletes have been banned from taking part in next month's Berlin Golden League meeting, also trained former 100m world record holder Tim Montgomery, Alvin and Calvin Harrison, Michelle Collins and Patrick Jarrett, who have all received doping suspensions.

World Anti-Doping Agency leader Dick Pound praised the USOC ban.

He said: "This is the first time they have sent a strong message of this nature."

The USOC has never previously banned a coach from its facilities in this manner. The ban affects the use of three official training centres and 12 training sites and their high-performance services.

The ban is a second blow in quick succession for Graham.

On Thursday, Berlin Golden League meet organisers said that athletes coached by the Jamaican would not be allowed to compete.

Graham sparked the Balco laboratory doping scandal by anonymously sending a syringe containing designer steroid THG to the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Ueberroth said: "The news (of Gatlin's positive test) is a cold reminder that we're not winning the battle.

"If just one athlete participating is doping, it's one athlete too many."

USA Track & Field, athletics' US governing body, also said it was looking at ways to take action against more than simply the athletes involved in doping.

"USATF shares the USOC's concern over the influence coaches, trainers, managers and others might have over athletes who cheat," said a spokeswoman.

"USATF also is aggressively examining ways in we can take action against, or withhold privileges from, individuals other than athletes who are suspected of being involved in doping."



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