American sprinter Justin Gatlin will get to keep his share of the men's 100-meters race world record while his doping case is appealed.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement Thursday that because the appeals process is not finished, Gatlin has the right to contest the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's eight-year ban against him.
Gatlin is the world and Olympic champion in the 100 meters. He shares the world record with Jamaica's Asafa Powell at 9.77 seconds.
The American tested positive for steroids after a race in April. USADA banned Gatlin for eight years Tuesday in exchange for his cooperation with doping officials.
The 24-year-old sprinter has six months to contest the ban before the American Arbitration Association. The IAAF plans to wait for the case resolution before stripping Gatlin of the world record.
At least nine athletes with links to Gatlin's coach, Trevor Graham, have been convicted of doping violations. Should Gatlin testify against Graham, it could mean a reduction in his sentence.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has barred Graham and all his athletes from its training facilities and venues.
Gatlin had faced a lifetime ban because of a previous doping violation and penalty. He tested positive for an amphetamine at the U.S. junior championships in 2001. However, the drug was contained in a prescription medicine he had taken for 10 years to counter a form of attention deficit disorder.
As a result, the IAAF reinstated him early from his two-year ban, although he was told that another positive test would result in a lifetime ban.Some information for this report was provided by AP.