Gatlin wins heat in first race after four-year ban

Updated: Aug 04, 2010, 11:15 AM IST

Rakvere: U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin easily won his 100 metres heat on Tuesday in his first competitive race after a four-year doping ban with a time of 10.34 seconds.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic sprint champion was running at the KuldLiiga meeting in Rakvere, north-east Estonia as he starts his comeback aiming for the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

The American has not run a competitive race since June 2006 after being banned because of a positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone and its precursors.

The 28-year-old regained his eligibility to compete in July, but he was expected to have difficulty finding races even after the ban ended because of a Euro Meetings recommendation not to invite athletes who bring dispute to the sport.

However, the organisers of the Estonian meetings, which are not members of the Euro group, welcomed Gatlin`s participation.

Bureau Report