Gatlin ineligible for Athlete of the Year

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Following a new rule in the selection process, American sprinter Justin Gatlin is not eligible to receive the IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award.

Gatlin currently holds the number one times for the 100m (9.74) and 200m (19.57) and won the 200m at last month's US Championship. But despite being named the fastest man in the world over 100m and 200m, having failed a drug test for testosterone in 2006 the 33-year-old does not meet the criteria for the coveted award.

According to an article published by Reuters, 'any athlete who has been sanctioned for a serious doping offence' is automatically ineligible for the award. Changes to the selection process were made effective this year following a cycle of doping controversies.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) spokesman Nick Davies said the IAAF Council, 'approved the change at a meeting last November on the recommendation of the IAAF Athletes Commission'. The changes came after uproar over Gatlin's inclusion on the top 10 male athletes of the year list in 2014.

Gatlin is currently favourite to win in both sprints at the world championships in Beijing this August.