BBC: Gatlin admits failing drugs test
World and Olympic 100
metres champion Justin Gatlin has admitted failing a drugs test in April.
The American, 24, was
told the news by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
He said: "I
have been informed that after a relay race I ran in Kansas City on 22
April, I tested positive for 'testosterone or its precursors'.
"I cannot account
for these results, because I have never knowingly used any banned
substance or authorised anyone to administer such a substance to me."
He added: "Since
learning of the positive test, I have been doing everything in my power to
find out what caused this to happen.
"I have been and
will continue to cooperate fully with Usada as it moves forward with the
process it has initiated and hope that when all the facts are revealed it
will be determined that I have done nothing wrong."
Gatlin tested positive
for an amphetamine at the 2001 US junior championships at the University
A subsequent ban was
overturned after it was discovered the illegal substances were part of the
medication he had been taking for a decade to combat attention deficit
But the International
Association of Athletics Federerations made it clear at the time that a
further doping violation would signal a life ban for Gatlin.
In his statement on
Saturday, Gatlin added: "That
experience made me even more vigilant to make certain that I do not come
into contact with any banned substance for any reason whatsoever, because
any additional anti-doping rule offence could mean a lifetime ban from the
sport that I love.
"Since the positive test
at the University of Tennessee, I have been involved with efforts to
educate people about the dangers of using drugs and would never do
anything to disappoint my fans and supporters.
"It is simply not
consistent with either my character or my confidence in my God-given
athletic ability to cheat in any way."
Athletics had been waiting all
year to see a showdown between world record holders Gatlin and Powell, but
Gatlin has not raced since June because of injuries and missed Friday's
London Grand Prix.
Gatlin came into the sport from
an American Football background and only turned professional in 2003.
He won the Olympic 100m title
in Athens in 2004 and followed that up by taking the sprint double of 100m
and 200m at last year's World Championships in Helsinki.
Gatlin then matched Asafa
Powell's world record time of 9.77 seconds in Qatar in May of this year.
In a statement, USATF chief
executive Craig Masback said: "USA
Track & Field is gravely concerned that Justin Gatlin has tested
positive for banned substances."
He added: "We
hope Justin has not committed a doping offence, and we await the
completion of the adjudication process."