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Williams tests positive for marijuana

Ivory Williams of the U.S. crosses the finish line in the men's 100 meters final during the IAAF Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria 2009 at the Olympic Stadium in this file photo taken July 13, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/John Kolesidis/Files

DOHA (Reuters) - American world indoor sprint favorite Ivory Williams has tested positive for marijuana and ruled ineligible for the world championships, costing the event one of its key match-ups, officials said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said Williams had tested positive for a metabolite of marijuana at the U.S. indoor championships in February and had been disqualified from all results at the meeting, thus nullifying his chance to compete in the world championships.

He also accepted a three-month period of ineligibility, which can be reduced to time served upon completion of an anti-doping educational program, USADA said in a statement.

Williams had been expected to meet British European champion Dwain Chambers over 60 meters in one of the highlights of the indoor championships, which begin in Doha on Friday.

“It is unfortunate,” Williams’s manager Ray Flynn told Reuters via telephone from the United States. “It was poor judgment and he acknowledges that and to my knowledge has accepted the A sample (as positive).”

The 24-year-old former world junior champion ran the fastest 60 meters in the world this season, 6.49 seconds, to win the American indoor title on February 28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Editing by Greg Stutchbury