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Masseuse With a Grudge Blamed by Gatlin’s Coach

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

While his coach claimed Justin Gatlin’s positive drug test was a result of sabotage, the leader of the World Anti-Doping Agency called for the U.S. sprinter to be banned “for up to life” if the results are confirmed.

Gatlin’s coach, Trevor Graham, told the Washington Post on Sunday that the Olympic and world champion and co-world-record holder in the 100 meters was the victim of a setup by a massage therapist. Graham told the newspaper that the massage therapist rubbed a testosterone cream on Gatlin without the sprinter’s knowledge before the April race where he tested positive in Kansas.

Graham declined to name the masseuse, saying he did not want to jeopardize the case. “We know who the person is who actually did this,” Graham told the Post by phone from Raleigh, N.C.

Gatlin’s attorney, Cameron Myler, declined to confirm Graham’s account but said Gatlin intended to prove he was not responsible for the April positive test. WADA rules allow some latitude in the punishment of positive tests that involve special circumstances, but the rules hold athletes accountable for any substance found in their bodies regardless of how it got there.

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Because Gatlin, 24, tested positive in 2001 for a stimulant found in his prescription medicine for attention deficit disorder, he faces the lifetime ban rather than the typical two-year ban for a first-time doping offense for testosterone.

“If they can find someone who did, in fact, spike it, then it is for them to prove, but short of something like that I think he has a very serious problem,” WADA leader Dick Pound told BBC Radio Five Live.

In a statement Sunday, the world governing body of track and field (IAAF) said it would ban Gatlin for life if the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirms the violation. Gatlin will have his first chance to present a defense to a USADA review board this week.

TENNIS

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Clijsters Reigns Again at Stanford

Kim Clijsters won her fourth Bank of the West Classic title in six years, beating Patty Schnyder, 6-4, 6-2, at Stanford.

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Unseeded Stanislas Wawrinka won his first ATP title when fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic retired with breathing problems while leading, 3-1, during the first-set tiebreaker of the Croatian Open final at Umag.... Agustin Calleri earned his second career title by beating Juan Ignacio Chela, 7-6 (9), 6-2, 6-3, in the Generali Open at Kitzbuhel, Austria.... Anna Smashnova became the first player to defend her Budapest Grand Prix title, defeating Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-1, 6-3, at Hungary.... The Newport Beach Breakers were shut out, 5-0, in mixed doubles in falling, 21-14, to the visiting Philadelphia Freedoms in the World TeamTennis championship match.

CYCLING

Cycling President Says Police May Be Used

The president of cycling’s international said in London that police may be used to help crack down on doping in the sport. Pat McQuaid said he would conduct an audit of the sport after Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone levels.

“In this type of investigation authorities like the police can go a lot further that a sporting authority,” McQuaid told BBC Radio. “They can put in hidden cameras and the like to crack a network, a drugs supply ring. Of course it is sad it has come to this but it is the way it has to be.”

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T-Mobile will replace manager Olaf Ludwig with American Bob Stapleton in November, shaking up its team in light of cycling’s doping scandals.

T-Mobile said it lacked faith in the present management to deal with the scandals. Rolf Aldag, a former rider for the team, will take over as sports director and other managers will be named soon.

MISCELLANY

Ducks Accept Vishnevski’s Award

The Ducks accepted the one-year, $1.55-million arbitration award for defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski.

Vishnevski, a 26-year-old from Kharkov, received the award Friday, and the Ducks had 48 hours to accept or decline the arbitrator’s ruling.

Vishnevski made $1.14 million last season while leading the Ducks with 196 hits.

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He finished the season with one goal and 11 assists, including four assists during the playoffs.

-- Michael Becker

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Abby Wambach and Natasha Kai scored goals to lead the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Canada in an exhibition at Cary, N.C., giving the Americans a sweep of three matches in July.

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Artem Khadjibekov won the men’s 50-meter rifle three-position event and led Russia to the team title at the world shooting championships at Zagreb, Croatia. Austria took the silver in the team competition in prone, standing and kneeling and the U.S. was third.

Penghui Zhang won the men’s 25-meter rapid fire pistol and led China’s comfortable win in that team event. Russia finished second and Italy was third.


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