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Stars who failed tests in US team
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 25 - 07 - 2008

Reigning Olympic 100M champion Justin Gatlin was noticeably absent when the USA's track and field team for Beijing was officially named on Monday.
Gatlin, who is serving a four-year ban for using steroids, tried unsuccessfully last month to get the US courts to permit him to compete in the US Olympic trials.
Gatlin won't be going to the Beijing Olympics but several US athletes who have failed doping tests and served suspensions did make the team, including triple jumper Kenta Bell.
Bell was slapped with a three-month ban last year by the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for methylpredinisolone at the 2007 US Track and Field Championships.
Joining Bell on the US team is female hurdler Damu Cherry who placed second in the 100M hurdles at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Cherry served a two-year suspension beginning in 2003 after testing positive for a nandrolone metabolite.
Cherry claimed the positive result was caused by taking a vitamin.
Former 100m world champion Torri Edwards will run in the 100m and 4x100m relay in Beijing.
Edwards missed the 2004 Summer Games while serving a two-year doping suspension.
The 126-member USA team includes Cherry, Edwards, Bell and reigning Olympic champions Jeremy Wariner (400m) and Shawn Crawford (200m).
Also on the team are Tyson Gay, Bernard Lagat and Allyson Felix.
Javelin thrower Breaux Greer is the latest addition to the US team.
The bronze medalist at the 2007 Worlds, Greer finished 17th in the javelin at the trials and failed to reach the final due to a nagging shoulder injury.
Because of the shoulder problem, USA Track and Field named Greer to the team on Monday, citing a rule that an injured athlete can be selected to the Olympics.
“While it would take an incredible performance to match our medal counts of recent championships, we certainly feel that this team has what it takes to again top the medal tables,” said USATF acting chief executive Bill Roe.
A gold medalist in both the 100m and 200m at the 2007 Worlds, Gay will be competing in just the 100 in Beijing due to a leg injury suffered at the trials.
A native of Kenya, Lagat will be representing the US for the first time since becoming a citizen.
Lagat caused a stir when it was revealed he became a US citizen in 2004, just prior to the Athens Olympics, but kept it a secret so he could run for his native Kenya.
He won the silver in the 1,500 metres in Athens and will compete in two events after winning both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the trials.
Felix, winner in the 200m in the past two World, aims for Beijing gold in the women's sprint after having to settle for the silver in Athens.
WADA eyes clean Games
Drug cheat athletes are far more likely to be caught at next month's Beijing Olympics Games than at any previous Olympiad, world doping agency chief John Fahey said Wednesday.
While refusing to guarantee that this year's Olympics would be drug free, the World Anti Doping Agency head was adamant they would be the cleanest ever despite doubts raised over the effectiveness of drug tests.
“I can give this guarantee: there's a far greater likelihood that anybody cheating or attempting to cheat in the Beijing Games will be caught than in any other time of our history,” Fahey said.


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