IAAF backs Greene against allegations by drugs supplier

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The Independent Online

Maurice Greene will continue to act as a goodwill ambassador promoting athletics in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics despite being named in allegations of doping laid by a witness in the ongoing US government investigation into the Balco laboratory.

A spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations has dismissed the accusations laid by the former discus thrower Angel Guillermo Heredia, who was reported in Saturday's New York Times as having advised and supplied banned substances to the coach Trevor Graham – who has pleaded not guilty to three charges of making false statements – and athletes, including Marion Jones and Greene.

"None of this is new. There is no reason to take action against Maurice," said the spokesman, who added that the IAAF would continue to use him as an ambassador. "With every ambassador we do an immediate check with the doping department. In this case, they said, 'No, we don't have anything'. I read about this guy and this rumour four years ago."

The spokesman added that the US Anti-Doping Agency had been looking into the link for years without finding any proof. "If it was Maurice, it was not enough to even interest USADA, who are very interested," he said.

Greene, who retired in February after winning Olympic 100 metres gold in 2000 and five world titles, has admitted meeting Heredia, who will testify against Graham in the trial starting in San Francisco on 19 May, but denied that he had received or used any drugs.

"This is a bad situation for me," he told The Daily Telegraph. "My name's coming up in something and it's not true ... I have met him before and when he was talking to me, I told him I don't believe in this stuff. I have met with a lot of people who wanted me to try this and that. Everyone wanted me to work with them. But me getting anything or doing anything? I have not.

"My stance has always been that there is no place in our sport for drug users. I have always said that you should be banned for life if you come up positive even once. I stand by that."

Greene added that he used to pay for items for other members of his training group, but did not know what he was paying for. "Our group was very close and things always came up," he said. "I would pay for stuff and not care what it was. I've paid for things for other people."

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