- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency finally purged one of the biggest supporters of performance-enhancing drugs in track and field - coach Trevor Graham.

Graham received a lifetime ban from USADA on Tuesday. He now is barred from participating in any event sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Association of Athletics Federations, USA Track and Field or any other group that participates in the World Anti-Doping Agency program.

“USA Track & Field applauds USADA for issuing a lifetime ban against Trevor Graham,” USATF president and acting chief executive Bill Roe said. “Through his involvement in fostering the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Mr. Graham jeopardized the health of his athletes, to say nothing of their integrity and their future ability to compete in the sport.

“Athletes rarely act alone when they make the ill-advised decision to dope, and anyone involved in advocating or enabling the use of PEDs should be punished just as severely as an athlete who uses them. … Today’s action sends a powerful message to athlete support personnel that they will be held accountable for their actions.”

Graham should have been removed from the sport two years ago. At that time, Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones had failed drug tests, and LaTasha Jenkins was busted for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone.

All three athletes were trained by Graham. In total at least 14 athletes who had worked with Graham had been caught for taking banned substances.

Graham began the BALCO probe in June 2003 when he anonymously sent a syringe filled with an undetectable steroid (aka “the clear”) to drug testing in Colorado Springs. The steroid came from Victor Conte’s lab in California.

USADA began its case against Graham in November 2006. He was found to have committed four violations of the WADA code, including possession of prohibited substances and methods and administration or attempted administration of a prohibited substance or prohibited method to any athlete or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rules violation or any attempted violation.

Graham was convicted in May of one count of lying to federal investigators about his relationship to an admitted steroids dealer. He awaits sentencing - as many as 15 years in prison - while track and field is a little cleaner without Graham’s dirty laundry and most of his former athletes, who were kicked out of the sport.

- USATF announced the hiring of former MLS commissioner Doug Logan as its new CEO on Thursday. Former USATF CEO Craig Masback left USATF six months ago for Nike.

Logan led MLS during its successful 1995 start-up through 1999, helping the league generate $120 million in multiple-year sponsorship commitments from Nike, AT&T;, Adidas, Puma, Umbro, Honda, MasterCard, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Bic.

Hiring someone with no background in running is questionable.

When asked about his priorities in the first 100 days, Logan said: “I’m going to take Track 101 and I’ve got some good teachers.”

Other than soccer, the Cuban-born Logan promoted the first commercial Arena Football League game in 1985 and concerts in the 1990s. He also consulted on the creation of the National Rugby League in 2001.