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Edwards, Harrison in U.S. squad for Athens

Gene Cherry | July 22, 2004 16:16 IST

Torri Edwards and Calvin Harrison have been included in the U.S. athletics team for the Athens Games despite facing doping charges, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced on Wednesday.

World 100 metres champion Edwards and Olympic 4x400 metres relay gold medallist Harrison, both of whom have tested positive for banned stimulants, were among the names submitted to Athens organisers, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel told Reuters.

"The roster we submitted, at least as it relates to track and field, is identical to the list of athletes USA Track & Field submitted to us earlier in the week," Seibel said via telephone from Colorado Springs, Colorado, USOC's headquarters.

"That means that those two athletes (Edwards and Harrison)...are on the list of athletes we submitted."

Under U.S. law, athletes awaiting hearings cannot be banned from the Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), however, has said it would give countries until mid-August to make substitutions for exceptional circumstances. That would include athletes found guilty of doping violations.

Edwards appeared before an arbitration hearing panel on Monday in southern California. She tested positive for the banned stimulant nikethamide at a meeting in Martinique in April. She could be banned for up to two years.

A medal contender in the 100 and 200 metres and 4x100 metres relay, Edwards would be a serious loss to the U.S. team.

She finished second in the 100 metres and third in the 200 metres at this month's U.S. Olympic trials.

Harrison, selected as a member of the 4x400 metres relay squad, tested positive for the stimulant modafinil at the 2003 U.S. championships.

He faces a two-year ban since this was his second stimulant positive. His hearing is scheduled for Monday. He finished fifth in the 400 metres at the U.S. trials.

The complete U.S. team roster for all sports is scheduled for release on Thursday, USOC officials said.

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