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Merritt placed on roster for Daegu

INDIANAPOLIS – Defending world and Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt will be part of Team USA’s roster for the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships, to be held August 27-September 4 in Daegu, South Korea.

The USATF Board of Directors during its meeting June 25-26 in Eugene, Ore., approved the recommendation of USATF’s Chief of Sport Performance and the chair of USATF Men’s Track & Field Committee to place Merritt on the roster.

Merritt tested positive for DHEA in October, 2009. On October 19, 2010, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) declared that his ban would end July 27, 2011, shorter than the traditional 24-month ban and making him eligible to again compete prior to the World Championships. In reducing the length of the suspension, AAA stated it believed Merritt’s positive test to be the result of an inadvertent action and that he had not intended to gain a competitive advantage.

IAAF policies grant waivers to the World Championships for defending world champions, provided their federations enter them into the meet. USATF team selection policies require defending champions to compete at USA Outdoors in order to be placed on the roster unless they request and are granted a waiver to the policy.

The end date of his suspension did not enable Merritt to compete at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 23-26 in Eugene. Merritt applied for and was granted the waiver.

“USATF decided to approve Mr. Merritt’s request for several reasons,” noted USATF Chief of Sport Performance Benita Fitzgerald Mosley. “Since he is a defending world champion, placing him on the roster will not deny a roster position to any other athlete. That fact, as well as the clear message sent by the AAA regarding his intent and conduct, resulted in our recommendation to place him on the roster.”

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