Gatlin Could Reduce Ban if He Implicates Graham

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Justin Gatlin could escape a lifetime ban if he testifies against his coach.

By testifying against Trevor Graham, Gatlin would exercise the “substantial assistance” provision in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code, which reduces the ban by proving “he or she bears no significant fault or negligence” in the violation.

The 24-year-old sprinter faces the ban after a second positive doping test, but that could be reduced to eight years if Gatlin provides information against his coach.

“Since we don’t have any criminal investigative powers ... like wiretaps, warrants for searching premises, etc. ... it takes information coming to us from people aiming for a reduction in their own doping sentences,” said general counsel Travis Tygart, who refused to comment on Gatlin or any other specific cases before USADA.


Gatlin, the Olympic and world champion and co-world record holder in the 100 meters, tested positive for testosterone or other steroids April 22 after a relay race in Kansas. He denies knowingly using banned substances.

Kim Gevaert of Belgium completed a sprint double when she won the women’s 200 meters at the European Championships in Goteborg, Sweden.

Gevaert was never threatened, winning in 22.68. No Belgian woman had won a European outdoor title before her victory Wednesday in the 100 and it was Belgium’s first gold in 35 years.



USOC Officials Meet With Villaraigosa

U.S. Olympic Committee officials met at City Hall with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and leaders of Los Angeles 2016 Olympic campaign to review so-called “technical” issues such as the number and location of stadiums, arenas and other venues.

“We remain upbeat and committed to working hard to prevail,” said Barry Sanders, head of the Los Angeles 2016 effort.

The USOC has yet to decide whether to opt into the 2016 race. A decision is due by March; San Francisco and Chicago, each of which must construct a suitable Olympic stadium, are also under consideration.


The International Olympic Committee will select the 2016 site in 2009. The international field may include Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and others.

A key challenge facing an L.A. bid: convincing the IOC, after Los Angeles Games in 1932 and 1984, to return for a third time.

-- Alan Abrahamson



Federer Battles Into the Semifinals

Roger Federer withstood a scrappy performance by Xavier Malisse and earned a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-3 quarterfinal victory at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Federer has won 52 consecutive matches in North America.

He’ll face Fernando Gonzalez, a 6-1, 7-5 winner over Jose Acasuso. Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet will meet in the other semifinal.


Top-seeded Anastasia Myskina rallied from a 1-4 opening-set deficit to defeat Martina Sucha, 6-4, 6-4, and reach the semifinals of the Nordic Light Open at Stockholm. She will play fourth-seeded Sofia Arvidsson, who advanced when Eva Birnerova retired in the third set.


Kurt Busch Wins Pole for Watkins Glen Race

Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup AMD at the Glen, driving his Dodge through the 11-turn Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International course at 122.966 mph. Kasey Kahne, also in a Dodge, qualified second at 121.845 mph.


Ryan Newman was third (121.642 mph), just ahead of four-time Watkins Glen winner Jeff Gordon (121.432).

A.J. Allmendinger guaranteed himself a spot on the front row for Sunday’s Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Denver by turning in the fastest qualifying time (1:00.714).

Sebastien Bourdais was second at 1:00.763.



Clarett Must Undergo Mental Evaluation

Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett was ordered to have a mental health evaluation after a highway chase and violent struggle with police who caught him with four loaded guns.

Judge David Fais delayed the trial set to begin Monday on previous charges accusing the player of holding up two people outside a bar on New Year’s Day.

Fais also revoked Clarett’s $1.1-million bond, meaning he figures to remain in jail until the new trial starts Sept. 18.



Wisconsin Quarterback Stocco Has Knee Surgery

Wisconsin senior quarterback John Stocco could be sidelined for part of this season after surgery on his right knee.

Stocco set school records for passing yards (2,920), touchdown passes (21) and pass completions (197) last season.


Clifford Robinson, who turns 40 in December, will play again for the New Jersey Nets. The forward, suspended during last season’s playoffs for violating the NBA’s drug policy, reached an agreement with the team and passed his physical, team President Rod Thorn said.... The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Petr Sykora to a one-year contract. He scored 23 goals and had 28 assists last season with the Ducks and New York Rangers.... Senior guard Bryson Krueger, the second-leading scorer for Arizona State’s basketball team last season, has been kicked off the team after being arrested. Tempe, Ariz., police say he was in possession of a gun and various drugs.