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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 2 September, 2015

Gatlin returns to Olympic reckoning with fastest 100m since ban

Former Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin, banned for four years in 2006, outpaced Asafa Powell at Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Doha.

Image: Osama Faisal/AP/Press Association Images

SHAMED OLYMPIC GOLD medalist Justin Gatlin announced his return to the apex of world sprinting Friday evening with an impressive victory over Asafa Powell in 100m final of the Diamond League’s Doha event.

Gatlin, 30, recorded a time of 9.85 seconds to consign Powell, the overwhelming favourite, to second place on the podium.

A former protegé of infamous Jamaican coach Trevor Graham, Gatlin – the 2004 Olympic champion and 2005 double world champion – tested positive for a testosterone-derived steroid in 2006.

Though he initially received a lifetime ban from athletic competition, the New Yorker’s sentence was later commuted to four years in exchange for his cooperation with investigators.

Gatlin’s race-winning time of 9.85 seconds counts as his fastest since running a 9.77, then a world record, at the same event six years ago. That result, however, was annulled at the behest of anti-doping authorities.

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