USADA: Arbitration Panel Suspends Justin Gatlin for Four Years

Jan. 01, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (January 1, 2008) The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today the majority decision of a three-member independent arbitration panel from the American Arbitration Association (AAA)/North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that Justin Gatlin of Pensacola, Fla., an athlete in the sport of track and field, committed an anti-doping rule violation. Gatlin, 25, received a four-year period of ineligibility from May 25, 2006 through May 24, 2010. Additionally, Gatlin forfeits his competitive results on and subsequent to April 22, 2006, including his world-record-equaling performance (9.77 seconds) in the 100m at the Qatar Super Grand Prix in Doha on May 12, 2006 and his title as 2006 USA Outdoor 100m Champion. In August 2006, Gatlin agreed to the accuracy of the laboratory results from his sample collected by USADA on April 22, 2006 at the Kansas Relays, which tested positive for exogenous testosterone. All anabolic agents, including testosterone and its precursors, are prohibited under the USADA Protocol and the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international federation for the sport of track and field, both of which adhere to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. USADA and Gatlin agreed to a maximum sanction of eight years ineligibility for Gatlin's positive drug test which was his second doping offense and agreed that Gatlin could seek a reduction in the eight-year period of ineligibility through the established arbitration process under the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing. The arbitration hearing was held July 29-31, 2007, and the arbitration panel issued its written decision after business hours on December 31, 2007. USADA does not control the timing of the arbitration decision or the release of the arbitration decision which was determined by the independent arbitration panel. At the hearing Gatlin presented evidence of his contributions to investigations of the United States Government concerning doping in sport. Commenting on Gatlin's evidence of cooperation, the Panel stated: "He made undercover calls. He wore a wire, putting himself at risk. . . . The record reflects extended assistance to the United States Government, which goes far beyond the contemplated assistance to anti-doping sports authorities."Responding to the Panel's decision, USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis T. Tygart said,"It was shown that Mr. Gatlin cooperated with the federal investigators in BALCO. Mr. Gatlin should be commended for his decision to cooperate with authorities following his positive test; however, these efforts do not completely remove his responsibility for his second doping offense. Given his cooperation and the circumstances relating to Mr. Gatlin's first offense, the four-year penalty issued by the arbitration panel is a fair and just outcome."The complete AAA/CAS decision (majority and dissent) can be found on USADA's Web site at www.usada.org/what/management/arbitration.aspx (2008). USA Track and Field, the governing body for the sport in the United States, will carry out the sanction. USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
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