Scott Blackmun, the US Olympic Committee chief is hoping the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would participate in an arbitration involving the banning of Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt from the 2012 London Games.

The American sprinter was handed a 21 month suspension by an American Arbitration Association panel last month after he tested positive for banned substances he said were in a male enhancement product.

Although the suspended time would elapse in July 2011, the IOC has an established rule that prevents any athlete sanctioned for six months or more from participating in the next Olympics.

The arbitrators believes the IOC’s rule went against the World Anti-Doping Agency code and thus, it should not be right to ban Merritt from the London Games.

“Am I going to devote my life the next two years to training for the Olympic Games and not be able to compete?”Blackmun said.

“We have an arbitration decision that says we have to let Mr Merritt compete in the Olympic trials, but if he competes in the Olympic trials and secures a spot, the IOC has said he is not eligible to compete in the Olympic Games.

“My hope is that we can get the IOC together with WADA and the other involved parties and get some decision sooner rather than later, so that our athletes don’t have all that uncertainty the next two years,” he added.

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