Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 18 News List

USATF calls up wrong Dennis Mitchell


Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell was set to captain the US team at the Birmingham Internat-ional meet on Saturday before USA Track and Field (USATF) officials fixed their error.

Mitchell, a four-time US champion and member of the 400m relay team that won gold at the 1992 Olympics, tested positive for testosterone in July 1998 and was banned for two years.

He argued the levels found in his sample were a result of a bout of heavy beer drinking and sex.

Mitchell was forced to step down from the role after USATF admitted the invite to coach the US squad had mistakenly been sent to the sprinter and not Dennis Mitchell, a college coach in Akron, who delegates had voted into the role at the governing body's annual convention.

"It is a case where reality is stranger than fiction," USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer told the Guardian. "Dennis Mitchell the coach was originally selected but in the ensuing weeks, Dennis Mitchell the athlete became part of the staff rather than Dennis Mitchell the coach. Given the confusion, it was determined it's better to correct the mistake."

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