Gatlin appeals ban
SALVO (North Carolina): Suspended Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin has appealed his four-year doping ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), his attorney said on Tuesday.
“With these filings, Mr. Gatlin is taking the next steps in recovering his right to defend his gold medal in the 100m, silver medal in the 400m relay and bronze in the 200m at the Beijing Olympics,” Maurice Suh said in a statement.
The appeal was filed on Monday to Lausanne-based CAS.
A three-member American Arbitration Association (AAA) panel banned Gatlin for a 2006 positive test for the banned male sex hormone testosterone and its precursors, ruling it was Gatlin’s second positive.
Gatlin tested positive in 2001 for an amphetamine contained in a medication he took for 10 years for Attention Deficit Disorder. He was suspended for two years but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) later found Gatlin had not intentionally committed a doping violation and reinstated him after one year.
The IAAF also said any repetition of Gatlin’s 2001 positive test would result in a life ban.
But Suh, who also represents banned cyclist Floyd Landis, said in his appeal the 2001 case should not be considered a first offence.
If CAS were to agree, Gatlin’s 2006 positive test would be considered his first and he would be eligible for a two-year ban. That would allow him to return to competition in May, a month ahead of the US Olympic trials.
“To use this (2001) sanction to bar him from participating in the Olympics is a prime example of unfairness to an athlete, and a grossly inappropriate balance of anti-doping efforts against the right of individuals to pursue their careers and their dreams,” Suh said.
“Most troublingly, it constitutes a discrimination against a person with a diagnosed disability.” – Reuters