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Controversial Athletics Coach Banned from U.S. Training Centers


The U.S. Olympic Committee has banned athletics coach Trevor Graham from its facilities and training centers because of suspicions his athletes use performance-enhancing drugs. Graham and his runners have also been barred from competing in next month's Golden League meet in Germany.

USOC President Peter Uberroth made the announcement in a conference call Thursday. He said the USOC took the action, because of the cloud of doping suspicion that has surrounded Graham and his runners.

"Based on the unusual number of athletes he has coached who have been convicted of doping offenses, we are today notifying Trevor Graham in writing that he is prohibited from using any of our training centers or training sites," said Mr. Uberroth.

Graham coaches world record co-holder Justin Gatlin, the 2004 men's 100-meters Olympic champion and the world champion in the 100- meters and the 200-meters races. He also coaches five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones, Olympic 200-meters champion Shawn Crawford, and world 60-meters indoor champion Me'Lisa Barber.

Graham was the coach of former world record holder Tim Montgomery, who was banned and stripped of the 100-meters world record because of his involvement with the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), which supplied steroids to several athletes.

USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr said that no one, regardless of their stature, could assume they have a right to U.S. Olympic facilities.

"Access to our training centers and facilities and our training sites and any other events which we conduct is a privilege," said Mr. Scherr. "And that privilege is extended by the good will of the Board of Directors and the staff of the U.S. Olympic Committee. But in this case we are restricting access that is granted as a privilege."

Uberroth said that the ban would stand unless something convinces the USOC to change its ruling.

"It [the ban] is permanently in place," added Mr. Uberroth. "If there is something that convinces us to change our position we may. We will look at it at a future time. But at this time it is permanent."

Justin Gatlin faces a lifetime ban after testing positive for high levels of testosterone at an athletics meet in April. Graham has said the positive result came from a vengeful massage therapist who used a hormone-laced cream on Gatlin during a rubdown. Gatlin, who shares the 100-meters world record with Jamaica's Asafa Powell, could be banned for life because he failed a drug test at the U.S. Junior Championships in 2001.

Meanwhile, German athletics officials announced they would not allow Graham or any of his runners to compete at the Golden League meet in Berlin next month. Marion Jones was scheduled to compete in the women's 100-meters after winning the event in Paris and finishing second in Rome earlier this season.

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