Monday, April 14, 2008
Former Olympic sprint champion Greene says reports of his doping are false
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Track and field's world governing body dismissed doping allegations against former Olympic sprint champion Maurice Greene, throwing its support behind the man who once held the 100-meter world record.
While being implicated for doping in the upcoming trial of track coach Trevor Graham, former Olympic champion Maurice Greene has never failed a doping test.
Greene also denied the accusations, which were made by a witness in a U.S. government investigation into sports doping and reported this past weekend in the New York Times.
"None of this is new," International Association of Athletics Federations spokesman Nick Davies told The Associated Press. "There is no reason to take action against Maurice."
Davies said the IAAF would continue to use Greene as one of its goodwill ambassadors to promote the sport in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.
"With every ambassador we do an immediate check with the doping department," Davies said by telephone from IAAF headquarters in Monaco. "In this case they said, 'No, we don't have anything.' "
The Times reported that the witness, Angel Guillermo Heredia, said he advised and supplied banned substances to track coach Trevor Graham and athletes including Greene and Marion Jones.
"I read about this guy and this rumor four years ago," Davies said.
Citing court filings, the Times said that Heredia -- identified as Source A in the documents -- agreed to be a cooperating witness when investigators confronted him with evidence of his own drug trafficking and money laundering. The newspaper said Heredia provided prosecutors with the names of elite athletes, including 12 Olympic medal winners, who allegedly used performance-enhancing substances, and also provided documentation.
Among his clients, the Times said Heredia identified Greene, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion who never previously has been linked to doping. Greene, who retired in February, never failed a doping test.
Greene told Britain's Daily Telegraph that he had met with Heredia but did not receive or use any drugs.
"This is a bad situation for me," he was quoted as saying in Monday's editions. "My name's coming up in something and it's not true. ... I have met him before and when he was talking to me, I told him I don't believe in this stuff."
Davies said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had been looking into the link for years without finding any proof.
"If it was Maurice, it was not enough to even interest USADA, who are very interested," Davies said.
Greene won the gold in the 100 meters at the 2000 Sydney Games and was part of the winning U.S. 400-meter relay team. He once held the 100 record, and still holds the indoor 60 world record.
Greene was linked to doping by Heredia as part of the case against Graham, who is charged in a federal case in San Francisco with three counts of making false statements. He has pleaded not guilty.
"I have met with a lot of people who wanted me to try this and that," Greene told the Telegraph. "Everyone wanted me to work with them. But me getting anything or doing anything? I have not.
"My stance has always been that there is no place in our sport for drug users. I have always said that you should be banned for life if you come up positive even once. I stand by that."
Greene said he used to pay for items for other members of his training group, but didn't know what he was paying for.
"Our group was very close and things always came up," he said. "I would pay for stuff and not care what it was. I've paid for things for other people."