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Collins gets doping ban reduction

19 May 2005

Sprinter Michelle Collins' ban for doping offences has been reduced from eight to four years, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday.

As part of the suspension, Collins has also decided to drop her appeal against the eight-year ruling last December.

The 34-year-old received the ban as a result of her connection to the Balco doping scandal.

She was the first athlete to be banned without a positive drugs test or an admission of drugs use.

Collins was suspended by the USADA based on patterns observed in her blood and urine tests as well as evidence in the Balco investigation.

As well as being hit with the ban, Collins was stripped of her 2003 world and US indoor 200m titles.

Collins had lodged the appeal with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"This four-year suspension is in line with other cases we have resolved involving athletes associated with the Balco drug conspiracy," said USADA chief executive Terry Madden.

The San Francisco-based Balco laboratory is at the centre of the scandal which has rocked the sport.

The company has been accused of distributing illegal performance-enhancing drugs to elite athletes.

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