- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

12:17 p.m.

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) — Track and field’s world governing body is investigating the coach of sprinter Justin Gatlin for alleged doping violations.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said today that the probe into the activities of Trevor Graham will be carried out in conjunction with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

At least six athletes who trained under Graham have received doping suspensions. Graham, however, has always denied direct knowledge of or involvement with drug use.

Gatlin, the reigning Olympic and world champion and co-world record holder in the 100 meters, tested positive for testosterone or other steroids after a relay race in Kansas in April. Graham has said Gatlin was the victim of a vengeful massage therapist who rubbed testosterone cream on him without his knowledge.

Gatlin, who denies knowingly using banned substances, faces a lifetime ban if found guilty of a second doping offense.

Gatlin was suspended in 2001 after testing positive for an amphetamine found in medication he was taking for attention deficit disorder. The IAAF gave him early reinstatement but said the suspension remained on his record and he would face a life ban for any second violation.

Graham reportedly is under investigation in connection with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid probe. If evidence is found that he engaged in doping practices, the USADA will initiate disciplinary proceedings against him, the IAAF said in a statement.

“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 athletes, coaches, managers or any other support personnel who break our anti-doping rules,” IAAF said.

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