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Powell hails Gatlin for cooperating

24 August 2006

By Gary Smith

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who is now the sole owner of the men's 100-metre world record, following the doping ban of his main challenger Justin Gatlin, applauded the World and Olympic champion for his willingness to cooperate with the doping authorities.

"It is a good thing that he (Gatlin) chose to cooperate," Powell was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Gatlin, who equalled Powell's world record of 9.77 seconds at the IAAF Super Grand Prix Meeting in Doha, Qatar on May 12, was tested positive for using banned substances at the Kansas Relays on April 22 and was slapped with a maximum eight-year ban for his actions.

Powell, the Commonwealth Games champion from Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year, and became the first man to run a world record three-times, said on Wednesday that from the moment the news broke that his main challenger, Gatlin, was was caught doping he felt like the sole processor of the world mark and added that the news about the American will not change his motives for the year.

"Actually, since the day that Justin was tested positive, from that day I was the sole holder," the Jamaican speedster Powell said.

"One way or the other, there will come a time when I run under 9.77. We will have to wait and see," he added.

After flashing to his world mark in Athens, Greece last year, the 23-year-old Jamaican matched the record again in Gateshead, London in June, before achieving his record hat-trick on Friday during the Weltklasse meet in Zurich.

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