U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin was facing a lifetime suspension after failing a drug test in 2006. The ban has reportedly been reduced to four years and will expire May 24, 2010.
That penalty is long enough to keep Gatlin out of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. And, in the relatively short career of a world-class athlete, four years is a long time.
In the wake of the Mitchell report and Operation Raw Deal, American athletic news is full of steroid stories. Runner LaTasha Jenkins was recently cleared of drug charges, but it is unfortunately inevitable that more Olympic athletes will be suspended between now and the Olympics.