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Olympic champion Gatlin banned for four years

1 January 2008

Justin Gatlin Justin Gatlin
Olympic 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin has been hit with a four-year competition ban, following a positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone in April 2006 positive, a report from the Washington Post said.

Citing several people close to the case, the paper said a split three-person U.S. arbitration panel ruled against Gatlin, 25, and settled on the four-year penalty because of a previous positive test.

The usual ban for a first doping offense is two years; a second offense can be a lifetime ban. Gatlin tested positive for a stimulant in his attention-deficit disorder medication while in college at Tennessee.

Gatlin, who won the 100 meters at the 2004 Olympics and both dash titles at the 2005 World Championships, claimed he was possibly sabotaged by a vengeful massage therapist who rubbed testosterone cream onto his legs.

Gatlin could appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The paper said Gatlin’s Chicago-based attorney, John Collins, declined to comment, saying in an e-mail he wanted to read the opinion first. Gatlin also declined to comment.

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