Wed, Aug 01, 2007 - Page 18 News List

US sprinter Gatlin faces long odds at doping hearing

AP , ATLANTA

Olympic sprint champion Justin Gatlin faced tough odds on Monday, the first day of an arbitration hearing to appeal a possible eight-year ban for doping.

Gatlin tested positive for testosterone and other steroids in April last year but has said he doesn't know how steroids got into his system.

The hearing, closed to media and the public, was set to continue yesterday. The US Anti-Doping Agency has never lost a doping case.

Gatlin's attorney, John Collins, told the Washington Post in Monday's editions that Gatlin should get consideration for assisting USADA and federal investigators in the BALCO doping investigation. Gatlin told the newspaper he met with Jeff Novitzky, the lead investigator in the Bay Area Labs Co-Operative probe, and made calls, including at least one in Novitzky's presence, to his coach Trevor Graham.

Graham had no comment. He was indicted by the BALCO grand jury last year on charges of lying to federal investigators.

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