Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Graham and Gatlin dropped by Nike

AP , NEW YORK

Already banned from US Olympic Committee training sites, Justin Gatlin's coach isn't welcome at Nike headquarters, either.

The shoe company has terminated its contract with Trevor Graham and suspended its contract with Gatlin until further notice, Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said.

"He will not receive payment while the contract is suspended, and there is no specific date or speculation as to when we would re-up that," said Stoyer, who would not disclose any details of the contracts.

Graham, former coach of Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, has had several athletes test positive for banned substances. He always denied any direct involvement in performance-enhancing drugs.

Joseph Zeszotarski, Graham's attorney, said Nike's move was made without just cause.

"The contract cannot be terminated based upon innuendo and suspicion," Zeszotarski said in an e-mail. "We have contacted Nike regarding this matter, and we are awaiting their response. We hope to avoid having to take legal action but will do so if necessary."

Gatlin, the co-world record holder in the 100m, tested positive for testosterone and other steroids at the Kansas Relays on April 22.

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