Photo: MelvinSchlubman via flickr
Reigning 400-meter Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt went to arbitration with US Anti-Doping Agency after the organisation slapped him with a 21-month ban for failing a drug test.Merritt tested positive for drugs three times in late 2009 and early 2010. Merritt claims the failed drug tests “were caused by Extenze … he purchased at a 7 Eleven store.”
The USADA concedes that Merritt’s usage of ExtenZe was the source for the failed test. But because Merritt “was negligent” in ingesting the substance he was slapped with the ban.
The arbitrators accepted this decision, but took issue with the IOC’s Olympic ban on Merritt. The International Olympic Committee declares that any athlete banned for 6 months or more is automatically ineligible for the next Olympic Games.
With 2012 looming, Olympic athletes will be watching closely to see if this dispute can find a settlement.
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