More on the matter-
Gatlin steps up bid for U.S. trials
Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:12pm EDT
ATLANTA (Reuters) – Banned Olympic 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin stepped up his bid to compete in this week’s U.S. athletics trials for the Beijing Games through his lawyers on Wednesday.
One day after a federal judge in Pensacola, Florida, blocked his initial bid, Gatlin’s legal team of Joseph Zarzaur and Bryan Gowdy served notice they would appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
“We are filing an appeal motion this afternoon with both the federal district court in Pensacola and the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta,” Zarzaur told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“Justin Gatlin is still hoping to make the Olympic trials.”
On Tuesday, Judge Lacey Collier dissolved a 10-day restraining order which would have allowed the 26-year-old sprinter to take part in the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, starting on Friday.
He also denied Gatlin’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case.
After Judge Collier issued his ruling, Zarzaur said he hoped to present additional information which would give the 11th Circuit the ability to find jurisdiction.
Asked to furnish details of this information on Tuesday, Zarzaur replied: “It’s just highlighting, if you will, information that went before the court but was not argued as aggressively as we expect to argue in the motion.”
Collier ruled that determining the United States’ participation in the Olympic Games was the “exclusive jurisdiction” of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), not the courts.
He said Gatlin, who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, had been wronged in the process that resulted in his suspension, adding, however, that the court had no power to right the wrong.
Gatlin was suspended for four years after a 2006 positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone.
The violation was ruled his second doping offence because the sprinter had also tested positive in 2001 for amphetamines that were part of a medication to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.
He filed a lawsuit against the USOC, USA Track & Field (USATF), the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Gatlin said the four organizations had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when an arbitration panel used the first positive test to increase his penalty for the 2006 offence.
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Edina, Minnesota; Editing by Alan Baldwin)