Athletics: Gatlin out of the running for Gateshead duel with Powell

The biggest athletics showdown at Gateshead since Linford Christie met Carl Lewis for a £120,000 prize 13 years ago has fallen apart, with Justin Gatlin pulling out of his projected 100 metres race against the joint world record-holder Asafa Powell.

Gatlin's manager, Renaldo Nehemiah, maintained on the eve of yesterday's Prefontaine Classic meeting in Eugene, Oregon, that his client never had a contract to race against Powell at the meeting on 11 June. "It's officially off," said the former world high hurdles record holder.

Gateshead promoter Ian Stewart, who had the news confirmed by Nehemiah before watching the action in Eugene, was bitterly disappointed, having announced earlier this year that Gatlin would run at the three main British meetings in Gateshead, London (28 July) and Birmingham (19-20 August).

"They [Nehemiah] said it is too cold, it is too early, they are not coming," Stewart commented. "Clearly we are not happy and we feel there was a break in trust there. We have a contract, it's a three-meet contract and he is in breach of the contract." Nehemiah's statement nevertheless confirmed rumblings on the athletics scene that the meeting between the two sprinters would not take place until later in the season.

That speculation heightened when Gatlin ran 9.76sec at the Doha meeting on 12 May, a time that was officially amended to 9.77, equalling the mark Powell set in Athens last year. Suddenly Gateshead had the ideal race in prospect - but despite high excitement in British athletics circles, there was a nagging sense that it was too good to be true and that the rivals - both thought to be receiving six-figure sums for their Gateshead runs - would seek a meeting at a warmer, and possibly even more lucrative, venue.

"Justin's contract gave him the option of running the 100 or 200 metres," said Nehemiah, who added that Stewart had mistakenly assumed Gatlin would agree to race Powell there after the American had told him last month he would race "anyone, anytime, anywhere". Nehemiah said Stewart then signed a contract with Powell to run a 100m, adding "he never had a contract with me for that. If he [Stewart] had called me after he had talked to Justin and said he would like to invite Powell, I would have said that it was not going to happen." Gatlin said he would be excited to race Powell, but added: "Obviously this is not the right time."

Marion Jones indicated last night that she still has ambition on the track despite the trauma of her embroilment in the doping scandal centring on the BALCO lab. The 30-year-old former Olympic champion, whose partner Tim Montgomery was banned for doping offences, won the 100m at the FBK-Games in Hengelo in 11.16sec.

The time was a lot slower than her best, but a lot faster than the rest of the field could handle, with Emma Ania, a member of England's 4x100m silver medallists at the Commonwealth Games, coming closest with 11.59sec.

There was only one British victory at the meeting and that came unexpectedly from former European Under-23 champion Rebecca Lyne, winner of the 800m in a personal best of two minutes 0.04sec.

Natasha Danvers-Smith took second place in the 400m hurdles, in a time of 56.29sec, behind World Championship silver medallist Lashinda Demus who won in 54.70sec.

Christian Malcolm finished third in the men's 100m, clocking 10.37sec in a race won by Nigeria's Olusoji Fasuba in 10.33sec. But Darren Campbell was off the pace, placing fifth in 10.46sec.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little