American sprinter Justin Gatlin could win gold medals at the upcoming World Championships in Beijing in August, and go undefeated for a second consecutive season….. but he would still not be eligible for the sport’s athlete of the year award.
That’s the word from world governing body the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Gatlin, the fastest man over 100 and 200 meters in 2015, was banned for four years after a positive test for testosterone in 2006.
He has since returned to the sport and is favourite to win the sprint double at the world championships in Beijing in August.
However according to IAAF spokesman Nick Davies, a change in selection criteria made any athlete who has been sanctioned for a serious doping offence ineligible to be shortlisted for the athlete of the year award.
The change in policy was done at meeting last November on the IAAF athlete’s commission.
It came after the uproar over Gatling inclusion on the top 10 male athletes of the year list for 2014 under the existing rules.
The outcry led to the American not being included among the three finalists for the honor which was won by French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie.