MX23RW : Thursday, February 25 07:25:57| >> :600:177381236:177381236:

Justin Gatlin ineligible for Athlete of the Year award

Justin Gatlin is ineligible for the IAAF's Athlete of the Year award, due to a change in the selection criteria.

The International Association of Athletics Federations has confirmed that Justin Gatlin will be ineligible for the Athlete of the Year award.

Due to a change in the selection criteria, an athlete who has previously served a ban for a doping offence is now unable to be shortlisted for the honour.

Gatlin, who was banned in 2006 for four years after a positive test for testosterone, was named on the top 10 male athletes of the year list in 2014, and has set the two fastest 100m times this year.

"Several Council Members expressed concern that the IAAF could encounter legal challenges if the Athletes' Commission's recommendation that no athlete who has been sanctioned for a serious doping offense should be shortlisted for the Athlete of the Year award was approved," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told Reuters.

"However, the majority of Council Members who took the floor supported this recommendation because it enhanced the credibility of the sport, it protected the rights of clean athletes and it assisted in further establishing inappropriate behaviour in the sport that would not be honoured by the IAAF in the future."

Gatlin claimed victory with a time of 9.75s in the 100m at the Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne last week.

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Justin Gatlin of the US gestures after he won gold in the men's 100m final, 22 August 2004
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