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Lilly King says Justin Gatlin, other U.S. doping offenders shouldn't be allowed at Olympics

Lilly King, left, has strong opinions about drug cheats. (Dave Hunt / EPA)

Lilly King, left, has strong opinions about drug cheats. (Dave Hunt / EPA)
Lilly King doesn’t think Justin Gatlin, the star sprinter, or other athletes previously banned for doping should be allowed to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics.
“Do I think people who have been caught for doping offenses should be on the team? No, they shouldn’t,” King said when asked about Gatlin on Monday after winning gold in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Gatlin, the 100-meter dash champion at the Athens Olympics, served a four-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in 2006. He previously had been suspended in 2001 for amphetamines, though the penalty was reduced on appeal.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to see that, and it is such a toss-up between sports and between countries,” King said. “It’s something that should be set in stone: This is what we are going to do. We need to settle this, and that should be the end of it. There should not be any bouncing back and forth.”
Past U.S. doping offenders on the Olympic team include another sprinter, Tyson Gay, who received a one-year ban in 2013 and was stripped of his silver medal from the 400-meter relay at the London Olympics.
King’s criticism of Russia’s Yulia Efimova before — and after — beating her in the 100 breaststroke became one of the early stories of the Games. Efimova has twice been suspended for doping, though the second ban was overturned earlier this year.
“I do think it is a victory for clean sport and to show you can do it while competing clean,” King said.

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