Olympic champion Merritt tests positive

Olympic champion Merritt tests positive

This file picture taken on August 23, 2009 in Berlin, shows US LaShawn Merritt competing in the men's 4x400m relay final of the 2009 IAAF Athletics World ChampionshipsMerritt, who is also the world champion at 400m, said in a statement via his lawyer that he was "deeply sorry" at failing three doping controls for the banned substance DHEA.
The American said: "To know that I've tested positive as a result of a product that I used for personal reasons is extremely difficult to wrap my hands around.

"I hope my sponsors, family, friends and the sport itself will forgive me for making such a foolish, immature and egotistical mistake. Any penalty that I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation that I feel inside.

"I am deeply sorry and hope that other athletes who take these types of over-the-counter products will be even more cautious and read the fine print, because if it can happen to me, it could happen to you."Merritt failed the tests between October last year and January after he started taking the product following the end of last season.

He has accepted a temporary ban and will not compete until his case has been heard, his lawyer stated.

The American followed up his Beijing Games gold medal by dethroning two-time 400m defending champion Jeremy Wariner when he strode to an impressive victory at last year's World Athletics Championships in Berlin

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