Life ban for US athletics coach

The US Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed a life ban for former elite coach Trevor Graham for breaking anti-drugs rules.

The US Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed a life ban for former elite coach Trevor Graham for breaking anti-drugs rules.

Graham is the ex-trainer of disgraced American sprinters Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin.

The global ban follows his conviction in May of lying to federal agents over the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (Balco) doping scandal.

"It sends a powerful reminder that coaches are not above the rules," said Usada chief executive Travis Tygart.

"There's a misconception that they are because we don't drug-test them, but this shows that we'll use all of our authority."

Graham sparked the Balco scandal when he anonymously sent a syringe containing the previously undetectable steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) to Usada in 2003.

The scandal affected athletics, baseball and American football and led to the jailing of Balco founder Victor Conte.

More than a dozen athletes have been suspended or disciplined in the fall-out.

Graham was banned from the use of US Olympic Committee facilities after a number of his athletes were suspended for doping violations. The Jamaican had been under investigation by Usada prior to his court conviction.

l South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who is hoping to run alongside able-bodied competitors at the Beijing Olympics, was branded a potential danger to other athletes.

Pierre Weiss, the general secretary of the sport's governing body, the IAAF, believes that if Pistorius, who runs on carbon fibre blades, takes part in the 4x400m relay, he could be a risk to other runners once they are bunched on the track.

"The decision by CAS [the Court of Arbitration in Sport, which allowed Pistorius to compete with able-bodied runners] applies to all athletics events. But if he runs in the pack, there's a risk that he or another athlete will fall." - BBC and Sapa-AFP

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