Coach Banned From Olympic Stadium Following Positive Testosterone Test
By Lynn Zinser
and Juliet Macur
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Olympic and world track officials turned up the pressure Thursday on Trevor Graham, the coach of the sprinter Justin Gatlin and at least six other runners who have served drug suspensions.
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced that it would permanently bar Graham from using any of its training facilities. Also Thursday, the director of a Golden League event in Berlin said that several of Graham’s current or former athletes, including Marion Jones, Shawn Crawford and Dwight Thomas, would not be welcome at his meet in September.
The developments come in the aftermath of the disclosure last weekend that Gatlin, the co-owner of the world record in the 100-meter dash, tested positive for testosterone in April. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could offer Gatlin a chance at a reduced punishment if he cooperates with an investigation of Graham. A similar deal was offered to the sprinter Kelli White, who testified in hearings against several other athletes and coach Remy Korchemny when she was caught in 2003.
“The ideal paradigm is to rid sport of the distributors and suppliers,” said Travis Tygart, general counsel for the anti-doping agency. “USADA certainly appreciates athletes who have the courage to admit their mistakes and cooperate to help clean up sports.”
But Olympic Committee leaders and the Berlin meet director were not waiting for findings to make their decisions. The USOC said it had sent Graham a letter denying him access to any of its three training centers — in Colorado Springs; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Lake Placid, N.Y. — or its 12 official training sites around the country. It called the ban permanent unless circumstances prompted a re-evaluation.
“Access to our facilities is a privilege extended by the good will of our board of directors,” said Jim Scherr, chief executive of the USOC “They can give permission to restrict that, and they have.”
Graham, who has disavowed knowledge of drug use by any of his athletes, did not respond to requests for comment.
“Mr. Graham and I will be issuing a full statement over the weekend addressing all of these issues,” Graham’s lawyer, Joseph Zeszotarski, said in an e-mail message. “There is no basis for any ban of Trevor, and he will be pursuing all legal avenues available to him.”
USOC leaders also issued what they named a “national call to action” on the drug issue, urging the federal government and all other sports organizations and leagues to participate in a new initiative to fight doping that would include increased research, education and enforcement.
“This is a national issue,” said Peter Ueberroth, chairman of the USOC “Nothing less than this kind of effort will be needed. We run the risk of losing an entire generation of sports participants and sports fans.
For now, a broadened effort has taken the form of action against Graham, who has drawn increased scrutiny since Gatlin’s positive test was announced.