American Olympic gold medallist banned for missing doping tests
American sprinter Shawn Crawford (pictured above, centre), who won 200m gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, has received a two-year suspension for failing to comply with out-of-competition drugs testing.
The 35-year-old, who also won silver in the 4x100m relay in Athens as Britain beat the US to gold, failed to file his whereabouts information with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on three occasions within 18 months.
In a statement, USADA said: “Crawford was a member of the USADA National Testing Pool from 2001 through the beginning of 2013, which consists of a select group of athletes subject to certain whereabouts requirements in order to be located for USADA Out-of-Competition testing.
“Crawford failed to comply with the whereabouts requirements and, as a result, accrued three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period.”
However, reports quoting Crawford’s coach, Bobby Kersee, suggest that the sprinter retired last year. ”A person who hasn’t put on spikes all year, a married man trying to take care of his family and what does he get for the end of his career – a two-year ban? I don’t understand,” Kersee is said to have told The Associated Press.
Crawford followed up his gold and silver Olympic medals from Athens with silver in the 200m and the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Californian originally finished fourth in the 200m, with the race won by Usain Bolt, but he moved up to second place when Wallace Spearmon and Churandy Martina were disqualified for lane infringements. However, Crawford did not believe Martina should have been disqualified, so later gave him his medal.
USADA confirmed that Crawford’s two-year period of ineligibility began on April 17, 2013, the date he received the sanction. As a result of the violation, the sprinter has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to November 17, 2012 the date of his third whereabouts failure.