August 7, 2006

Gatlin’s legal team ready to state case to panel

By Gene Cherry

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Justin Gatlin's legal
team is ready to state its case to a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) panel that will review the Olympic champion's positive
drugs test, his attorney said on Monday.

"We will be filing our submission today," Cameron Myler
told Reuters by e-mail.

She said the documents would not be available publicly, and
in a telephone conversation last week said she would not
discuss the contents of the filings.

The panel will review Gatlin's positive April test for the
male sex hormone testosterone or its precursors and will make a
recommendation to USADA on whether there is a case against the
joint 100 meters world record holder.

"I'm not sure when the review board will make its
decision," Myler said in the e-mail.

A USADA official said the anti-doping agency would not

If charged, Gatlin would face a life ban because it would
be his second doping offence.

The review panel is expected to look at documents from
Gatlin's positive A and B samples, any filings USADA might make
and the sprinter's attorneys' documents.


The panel will then confer, often by telephone, and make a
recommendation to USADA, according to the anti-doping agency's

USADA, based on that recommendation, will decide whether
Gatlin should be charged with a doping offence.

If charged, he would have an opportunity to contest the
USADA decision and the recommended sanction first before a U.S.
panel of judges and then a panel of international judges from
the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 24-year-old announced on July 29 that he had tested
positive at the Kansas Relays on April 22.

He said he had never knowingly taken banned substances and
did not know how he had tested positive.

Since Gatlin's announcement, his coach, Trevor Graham, has
been banned by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) from using its

USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said the decision was "based
on the unusual number of athletes he has coached who have been
convicted of doping offences."

More than half-a-dozen athletes coached or previously
coached by Graham, including disgraced former 100 meters world
record holder Tim Montgomery, have been suspended for doping.

North Carolina Central University in Durham also has banned
Graham's Sprint Capitol training group from using its

The New York Times reported last month that Graham was
under investigation by the same federal grand jury
investigating San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

Graham has denied he is under investigation.

His attorney, Joseph Zeszotarski, said Graham would issue a
statement on Tuesday.