LONDON – Sprinter Justin Gatlin has a right to earn “redemption”, says the man who led the Lance Armstrong investigation.
Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, believes athletes who are banned for doping offences deserve another chance.
Gatlin, who has served two drug bans, is the world’s fastest man in 2014.
“If somebody commits a violation, serves a ban and comes back to the sport, part of the rule is this idea of redemption,” Tygart told BBC Sport.
Gatlin has been a controversial figure since returning from his second ban in 2011, but his stunning times this year have provoked fury from many fans and rivals.
Association of Athletics Federations, said he had a “big problem” with Gatlin, and told reporters he believed dopers enjoyed the benefits of their cheating long after their bans were over.
A revised version of the World Anti-Doping Code will nevertheless come into force from January 2015, extending the ban for serious first-time offenders from two years to four, long enough to guarantee an athlete found guilty of cheating would miss an Olympics.