Gatlin Agrees to 8-Year Ban - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Gatlin Agrees to 8-Year Ban

Sprinter Justin Gatlin has agreed to an eight-year ban from track and field - avoiding a lifetime penalty in exchange for his cooperation with doping officials and because his first positive drug test was ruled a mistake.

The 24-year-old will forfeit the world record he tied in May - when he ran the 100 meters in 9.77 seconds.

Gatlin tested positive in April for testosterone and other steroids, just five years after his first positive test, which was for medicine to control his attention deficit disorder.

The rules clearly state a second doping offense calls for a lifetime ban. 

"To his credit, it's recognition that the science is reliable," USADA general counsel Travis Tygart told The Associated Press. "Instead of wasting a bunch of resources attempting to create smoke where there's not any, he's acknowledging the accuracy of the positive test, and in exchange for his agreement to cooperate, we've recognized the nature of his first offense."

Gatlin has said he didn't know how steroids got into his system this time.

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