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Gatlin medals must go - Thompson

23 August 2006
bbc.co.uk

By Sarah Holt

Double Olympic champion Daley Thompson says Justin Gatlin's achievements should be wiped from the record books.

The Olympic and world 100m champion has avoided a life ban for a second positive drugs test by agreeing to help the US authorities fight doping.

But Thompson told BBC Sport: "I wish all his marks were expunged and it was as if he had never competed."

"Any reference to him being Olympic champion should go, he should lose his medals and be banned for life."

The 48-year-old Thompson admits the scandal could make the next generation reluctant to take up the sport - and says that is why Gatlin should not be let off the hook.

The 24-year-old has been banned for up to eight years but Thompson does not think that is enough.

"Gatlin should be made an example of," said Thompson, who is now an advisor to young athletes.

"He has been going around saying what a great bloke he is and how kids can look up to him and that makes it twice as bad."

"Maybe I should have asked the kids I was with today if they thought they were disillusioned by Gatlin's positive test."

"But they were gung-ho and are already looking forward to a life and career in the sport."

"What I have to do is advise them that temptation may be on offer during their careers but that ultimately, as Gatlin has discovered, cheats don't prosper."

Thompson also said Gatlin should not expect anything in return for revealing who supplied him with the drugs.

"I would expect him to own up and to whistle blow on those who supplied him with drugs irrespective of any deal on offer."

"It would be great if he did one honourable act before leaving the sport," he said.

Thompson, who won eight gold medals in the decathlon during the 1980s, begins his role as a mentor with UK Athletics alongside Linford Christie, Steve Backley and Katherine Merry in September.

He also participates in the Sainsbury's Future Champions Series.



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