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1968 Olympic champ Evans given doping ban

AP - Sports

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Lee Evans, the double Olympic champion whose world track records at the 1968 Games stood for 20 years, has been banned from coaching for four years for providing a minor in Nigeria with performance-enhancing substances, the country's athletics federation said.

Evans, 67, was working as an athletics consultant for the Lagos state government and gave substances to the girl at a training camp last year that ''may have been responsible'' for her failing a doping test, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria said in a statement on Monday.

The federation's anti-doping committee banned another coach for life for taking the same young athlete to a doctor, who injected her with an unknown substance which caused her to collapse, the AFN said.

The AFN did not name the athlete because she was a minor, it said. A third man was cleared of wrongdoing in the doping investigation.

In a statement, the AFN said Evans claimed he gave the girl ''supplements'' for her ''health'' in February and March 2013 and that they were not prohibited. The four-member disciplinary panel found he provided her with performance-enhancing substances and banned him for four years from Feb. 17. The federation did not name the substances for which the girl tested positive.

The second coach, Abass Rauf, claimed in his defense he took her to the doctor to received treatment for malaria.

''She (the athlete) claimed she collapsed after the injection and when she was revived, she asked the coach why he brought her to be injected,'' the AFN said in its statement. ''He (Rauf) said she should have confidence in him that he could not harm her. He also warned her not to disclose what happened to anyone although she confided in her mother.''

In its decision, the AFN referred to Evans as a ''legendary athlete.''

He was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1983 following his feats at the Mexico City Olympics, where he won gold in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay in world-record times.

Evans' time of 43.86 seconds was the first sub-44-second run in the 400 and stood for two decades. It is still the seventh fastest of all time.

Evans then wore a black beret and gave a black power salute on the podium alongside fellow black teammates and medalists Larry James and Ron Freeman. It was the same Olympics where Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave their famous salutes after the 200 meters.

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