Sprinter Gatlin’s ban for doping cut to four years

Sprinter Justin Gatlin got his doping ban reduced, but not by enough to make him eligible to defend his Olympic 100-meter title this year.

An arbitration panel, in a 53-page ruling released Tuesday, reduced the 25-year-old sprinter’s potential eight-year ban to four. With the ban set to expire May 24, 2010, it means Gatlin would miss the Beijing Olympics in August.

Still, the panel left open the possibility of a further reduction.

The three-member panel unanimously ruled Gatlin committed a doping offense when he tested positive for excessive testosterone in April 2006, but the sprinter’s first doping offense in 2001 troubled the group.

If that doping violation were erased, that would make Gatlin’s 2006 case his first offense, clearing the way for a further reduced ban. First doping offenses often result in a two-year ban, which would make him eligible to run in May, a month before the U.S. Olympic Trials.


Lakers’ Odom hit with one-game suspension

Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom was suspended for one game without pay for committing a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter of his team’s 110-91 loss to Boston.

Odom threw himself into Ray Allen and knocked the Celtics guard to the floor with 2:56 remaining Sunday and the outcome decided.

Odom will serve his suspension Friday when the Lakers play Philadelphia.

Also: South Carolina guard Brandis Raley-Ross sprained his left knee while practicing this weekend and could miss up to two weeks.

The sophomore was shooting Saturday at the Gamecocks’ practice facility when he went to slam dunk the ball and landed awkwardly, coach Dave Odom said.

Raley-Ross is tied for third on the Gamecocks in scoring at 10.6 points a game.


Thrashers’ McCrimmon named associate coach

The Atlanta Thrashers promoted Brad McCrimmon to associate coach in a move that could pave the way for him to take over for Don Waddell, the team’s general manager and interim coach.

Waddell moved to the bench after firing Bob Hartley when the Thrashers started 0-6.

McCrimmon, 48, is in his fourth season in Atlanta as an assistant.

Also: Ron English accepted Louisville’s offer to be its defensive coordinator, the same job he had at Michigan, where incoming football coach Rich Rodriguez fired all of Lloyd Carr’s assistants.

English agreed to a two-year contract with the Cardinals.

Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall hurt his left knee during an outing at the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week and is questionable for Thursday’s Orange Bowl against Kansas.

Hall is second on the team with 92 tackles.

A South Korean boxer who lost consciousness after winning his WBO intercontinental flyweight bout last week has been declared brain dead, a Seoul hospital official said.

Choi Yoi-sam, 33, had been in a coma since shortly after winning his fight against Indonesian challenger Heri Amol in Seoul on Dec. 25.

Alexandra Rose got her first victory in two years in the $110,400 Monrovia Handicap, and In Summation won the $108,900 El Conejo Handicap by a length at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

In the Monrovia, Alexandra Rose won by three-quarters of a length while covering 61/2 furlongs on the turf in 1:12.86.

In the El Conejo, In Summation covered 51/2 furlongs in 1:10.27.

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