Gatlin out of running for World Athlete of the Year

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 17, 2014 6:34 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Controversial United States sprinter Justin Gatlin is out of contention to win the IAAF's athlete of the year award after failing to make the final three-man shortlist, the sport's governing body announced on Friday.

As widely expected, double-doper Gatlin was among those cut from the final shortlist after a two-week-long poll conducted by the "world athletics family".

The 32-year-old was included on the original 10-man shortlist thanks to a stellar year of sprinting in which he posted six of the fastest 100 meters times.

Gatlin, who served a one-year ban for testing positive for a banned stimulant in 2001 and then failed a second test in 2006, which led to a four-year ban, ran 9.77 seconds in Brussels last month -- the fastest-ever time by an over-30.

However, his inclusion was heavily criticized and fellow nominee, Germany's Olympic discus champion Robert Harting, felt so strongly about the former Olympic champion's nomination that he asked to be removed from the list.

Kenyan Dennis Kipruto Kimetto, who last month became the first man to break two hours three minutes for the marathon, Qatari high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshmi and French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, who cleared 6.16metres to break Sergey Bubka's 21-year-old indoor world record, will now compete for the men's award.

New Zealand shot-putter Valerie Adams, who extended her winning streak to 56 competitions in 2014, is joined on the women's shortlist by Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers and Ethiopia's distance runner Genzebe Dibaba.

The winners will be selected during the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco on Nov. 21.

(Reporting By Michael Hann, editing by Mitch Phillips)