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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
Gatlin coach could face sanctions
Justin Gatlin
Gatlin could face a lifetime ban if found guily
Justin Gatlin's coach Trevor Graham could face the threat of a two-year ban if the Olympic and world 100m champion is found guilty of a doping violation.

Graham has always denied knowledge of or involvement with illegal drug use and says Gatlin is innocent.

But athletics' governing body, the IAAF, says it is prepared to act if evidence links Graham to any offences.

"Once we have enough evidence to prove it, we have the power to prosecute him," said an IAAF spokesman.

"He would face a two-year suspension that is in line with the regulations in our anti-doping code," added the spokesman.

Graham has worked with six other world champions who have tested positive - the shot putter CJ Hunter, 400m runners Alvin Harrison, Calvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew and Jerome Young, and the 200m athlete Michelle Collins.

He also coached former 100m world record holder Tim Montgomery, who despite never failing a drugs test was banned as part of the Balco doping scandal.

Gatlin, who denies knowingly taking drugs, is facing a lifetime ban after confirmation that he tested positive for testosterone in April.

The joint world record holder's case is expected to be heard by the US Anti-Doping Agency next Monday.

Tim Montgomery
Former 100m world record holder - banned for two years for role in Balco scandal
Jerome Young
2003 world 400m champion - banned for life for EPO and nandrolone
Calvin Harrison
2000 Olympic 400m relay gold medallist - banned for two years fro modafinil
Alvin Harrison
Twice Olympic 400m relay champion - banned for life for EPO, THG and HGH
Dennis Mitchell
1992 Olympic 100m relay gold medallist - banned for testosterone
Michelle Collins
2003 world indoor 200m champion - banned for four years for role in Balco scandal

Graham has already said his athlete has been "sabotaged" and that he knows who is responsible.

His lawyer, Joe Zeszotarski, also insisted that his client was innocent of the charges aimed at him.

He said: "It is curious that people who are not familiar with the situation can claim that Trevor has somehow done something wrong."

Graham, a 400m relay silver medallist for Jamaica at the 1988 Olympics, rose to coaching prominence in 1997 when he started working with Marion Jones.

He coached Jones, who has never failed a drug test or been banned, to a record five medals at the 2000 Olympics and then coached her partner Montgomery to the 100m world record in 2003.

Graham continued to enjoy success at the Athens Olympics of 2004 with both Gatlin and 200m champion Shawn Crawford, who also has never failed a test.

Graham has admitted being the man who triggered the Balco scandal in 2003 by sending a syringe of designer steroid THG to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The subsequent investigation led to the banning of some of athletics' most successful sprinters, including Montgomery, Britain's European 100m champion Dwain Chambers and world 100m champion Kelli White.

Arne Ljungqvist, the IAAF's vice-president and chairman of the International Olympic Committee medical commission, said that the focus needed to turn to coaches and agents as well as athletes.

Ljungqvist said: "We are all aware of the need of not just chasing athletes, because in some ways they are victims of a system they have been in."

The US Olympic Committee is also looking into ways to hold coaches responsible if they are found to be involved in doping cases.

A USOC spokesman said: "We believe there are others who carry significant influence with athletes who must also share in the responsibility for clean competition.

"Agents, coaches and trainers must also be held accountable when there is a pattern of doping positives."

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