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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 26 July 2006

--Justin Gatlin, the Olympic and world 100-meter champion, will get a lifetime ban from the sport's international governing body if he is found guilty of doping.

The International Association of Athletics Federation said in a statement Sunday that the 100-meter world record holder has agreed to attend a hearing before the United States Anti-Doping Agency Review Board.

"If the USADA procedure concludes by confirming the violation, the sanction under IAAF rules will be a life ban," the IAAF said.

If his test is confirmed, it would be Gatlin's second offense, and would mean a lifetime ban from the sport. While in college, the American tested positive for a banned substance contained in Adderall, which he took to calm attention deficit disorder.

He was given a two-year ban in international competition after the first infraction, but it was later reduced to one year.

Gatlin said Saturday that he tested positive for testosterone or other prohibited steroids. He released a statement through his publicist saying that the USADA informed him of the test taken after a relay race in Kansas in April.

Gatlin said he will cooperate with USADA "and hope that when all the facts are revealed it will be determined that I have done nothing wrong."

"I cannot account for these results, because I have never knowingly used any banned substance or authorized anyone else to administer such a substance to me," Gatlin said. "In the course of my entire professional career, I have been tested more than 100 times. ... All of the tests this season, including the out-of-competition and in-competition tests conducted just before and after the race in Kansas, were negative."

Gatlin, who in May tied Jamaica's Asafa Powell for the world record in the 100 at 9.77 seconds, would lose the record if the result is upheld.

"In order to defend the credibility of our sport, we will engage all our efforts, in co-operation with partners such as USADA, to defend the majority of athletes who are clean, against those who break our anti-doping rules," IAAF president Lamine Diack said.

Gatlin's revelation came just days after Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for a testosterone imbalance after his stirring comeback victory. The American cyclist claims his body's natural metabolism caused the result.

-- The Associated Press

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