German Olympic discus champion Robert Harting asked to be taken off a list of 10 candidates for the IAAF male Athlete of the Year because the list includes an athlete who was banned for doping eight years ago, Justin Gatlin.
“I ask the IAAF to remove me from the list,” Harting reportedly said. “I find the nomination great. Yet I stand for nomination with a former doping offender, and that is the reason for my waiver.”
Harting and Gatlin were among the athletes named as candidates for the season award Friday. The winner will be chosen in November.
Gatlin, who went undefeated in 100m and 200m sprints this season, is four years removed from a four-year doping suspension.
He is the most high-profile athlete to have served a drug suspension and later be nominated for Athlete of the Year, but he is not the only one. Jamaican Yohan Blake, who served a lesser three-month ban in 2009, was an Athlete of the Year candidate in 2011 and 2012.