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White escapes doping ban

rediff.com Sportsdesk | September 03, 2003 18:15 IST

Kelli White, who won a sprint double at the World Athletics Championships last week, has been cleared to continue running despite testing positive for modafinil at the Paris event.

A statement from the International Association of Athletics Federations on Wednesday said: "White will be afforded the opportunity of a hearing in the United States before any decision is taken on whether a doping offence has been committed under IAAF rules.

"The athlete is not suspended pending her hearing and is free to compete at the Golden League Meeting in Brussels this Friday and at the World Athletics final, to be held in Monaco the following weekend."

The 26-year-old American tested positive for modafinil after winning the 100 metres final on August 24. But a urine sample taken after she won the 200 metres four days later was found to be negative.

The IAAF statement said modafinil is now classified as "a weaker stimulant" and will be placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list next year.

"Having obtained the necessary expert opinion on the subject, the IAAF has decided to classify the substance, modafinil, in the category of weaker stimulants.

"Under IAAF Rules, the eventual sanction for a doping offence for this substance, if proven, would therefore be a public warning and disqualification from the competition. This means that Ms White could be stripped of her gold medals in Paris in both the 100m and 200m events," the statement said.

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