Appealing his doping charges to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Olympian Justin Gatlin was again found guilty last Tuesday thus ending his hopes for Olympic gold once again. Declared the “fastest man in the world”, after taking the gold in the 100 meter sprint in 2004, Gatlin is now facing 4 years of probation from Track and Field. The case began where all doping charges typically do with the International Association of Athletics Federations. IAAF charged Gatlin with usage of performance enhancement drugs in 2001 and again in 2006.
The IAAF determines all guidelines and policies regarding what substances are considered illegal and how each situation will be handled. Once an athlete has been charged, a provisional suspension will be issued followed by a hearing and eventually the sanctioning or exoneration. In Gatlin’s case, once he was issued his fours years of probation from the IAAF, a much lighter sentence than most facing multiple doping charges, he appealed to the CAS hoping to have all charges dropped in time to compete in the summer 2008 games. The decision of the CAS to standby the ruling of the IAAF will most likely terminate any chance Gatlin had of competing in the Olympic games this term as they are the highest governing body in the field. Although facing a difficult sentence, things could have been much worse for Gatlin considering other athletes banned entirely from their sport or stripped of previously won medals. The IAAF and other governing bodies will soon find out whether or not their policies are effective enough to keep athletes away from the temptation of performance enhancement drugs during this summer’s Olympic games.