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Jones not invited to Berlin meet because of past coach

8/3/2006


BERLIN -- Marion Jones will not be invited to the final Golden League meet in Berlin in September because of her past links with coach Trevor Graham.

The American sprinter and other athletes linked to Graham will
be barred from the Sept. 3 meet in Berlin, chief organizer Gerhard
Janetzky said Thursday.

Graham is the coach of Olympic and world 100-meter champion
Justin Gatlin, who faces a lifetime ban after failing a drug test
in April. Several other athletes coached by Graham have been
suspended for doping.

Jones is no longer coached by Graham, and works with Steven
Reddick. The five-time Olympic medalist has been dogged by doping
allegations but has never failed a test and denies using
performance-enhancing drugs.

But Janetzky said she "belonged to the circle of suspected even
if nothing has been proven."

All Golden League meets should adopt a "common line," Janetzky
said.

The Golden League is a six-meet circuit of European meets that
offers winners a jackpot of $1 million.The Berlin meet plans to
broaden doping controls and include blood tests, Janetzsky said.

Olympic 200-meter champion Shawn Crawford and sprinter Dwight Thomas are among Graham's athletes excluded from Berlin.

Jones has made a successful comeback this year after childbirth, injury and the doping controversy, winning the 100 meters at the Golden League meet in Paris and finishing second in Rome. She is
scheduled to race Aug. 18 at the Golden League meet in Zurich,
Switzerland.

At least six athletes who trained under Graham have received
doping suspensions. Graham has denied direct knowledge or
involvement with drug use.

Angel Guillermo Heredia, who said he worked with Graham, told a San Francisco grand jury and investigators that he supplied performance-enhancing drugs to the coach and many of his athletes, including Jones, C.J. Hunter, Tim Montgomery and Michelle Collins, the New York Times reported last month.