Injured Merritt back at work, U.S. coach says
LONDON (Reuters) - Injured Olympic 400 meters champion LaShawn Merritt has returned to race preparation after suffering a slight hamstring sprain almost two weeks ago, American coach Andrew Valmon said on Tuesday.
"Every day he is getting a step closer to being ready," Valmon said after a U.S. news conference.
The Beijing gold medalist strained his left hamstring while pulling up with a cramp in his last race at Monaco on July 20.
"As long as he is able to get to the line, he is going to be OK," Valmon said.
Valmon noted that Merritt returned from a lengthy absence last year to win the world championship silver medal.
"If anyone can (win), he is the type of athlete that can," the coach said. "So he is one athlete you don't put any limitations on."
Merritt, 26, served a 21-month suspension after a positive doping test for using of an over-the-counter male enhancement product in 2010 that contained the banned substance dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and pregnenolone.
There was no intention to dope and nor to gain a competitive advantage, an international panel found.
He was cleared to run in the Olympics when the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled last year on an International Olympic Committee rule that banned from the next Olympics any athlete sanctioned for six months or more.
Merritt's margin of victory in Beijing was the widest in an Olympic final since 1896. He also won the 2009 world title before being edged out by Grenadian Kirani James in the 2011 worlds.
He has the year's two fastest 400 meters times with a best of 44.12 seconds.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this