Court of Arbitration for Sport panel upholds 4-year ban for Justin Gatlin
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -There will be no Olympics this year for sprinter Justin Gatlin.
His appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on doping charges was rejected Friday, three weeks before the United States holds its track trials.
The three-man CAS panel has upheld the four-year ban given to the 26-year-old sprinter earlier this year by another arbitration panel.
Gatlin, whose ban won’t expire until July 25, 2010, had hoped to have it reduced to two years, giving him a chance to defend his 100-meter Olympic title.
The initial arbitration panel that reduced Gatlin’s possible eight-year ban to four years essentially had offered up a blueprint for how Gatlin might conduct the appeal – eliminating his first doping offense in 2001 – but the CAS arbitrators didn’t agree.
In their briefly worded decision, to be fleshed out later, the panel said the bulk of the original panel’s decision was upheld.
The only key difference was when the start of Gatlin’s four-year penalty would begin; CAS delayed the start from May to July 2006, because that was when he voluntarily accepted his provisional suspension.
The hearing was held last week, and the decision was expedited because of the upcoming Olympic trials.
Though the timing of the decision was quick, the ruling wasn’t what Gatlin needed.
It means Justin Gatlin must decide whether to continue his running career through the 2012 Games or possibly look into football. He’s had workouts with a handful of NFL teams.
Gatlin, who once held himself up as a role model for clean competition, has said he doesn’t know how steroids got into his system before an April 2006 test, when he tested positive for excessive testosterone.
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