Team USA includes several athletes who previously failed doping tests

INDIANAPOLIS, July 14, 2008 (AFP) – Reigning Olympic 100 metre champion Justin Gatlin was noticeably absent when the USA’s track and field team for Beijing was officially named on Monday. Gatlin, who is serving a four-year ban for using steroids, tried unsuccessfully last month to get the US courts to permit him to compete in the US Olympic trials.

Gatlin won’t be going to the Beijing Olympics but several US athletes who have failed doping tests and served suspensions did make the team, including triple jumper Kenta Bell.

Bell was slapped with a three-month ban last year by the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for methylpredinisolone at the 2007 US Track and Field Championships.

Joining Bell on the US team is female hurdler Damu Cherry who placed second in the 100 metre hurdles at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Cherry served a two-year suspension beginning in 2003 after testing positive for a nandrolone metabolite. Cherry claimed the positive result was caused by taking a vitamin.

Former 100m world champion Torri Edwards will run in the 100 and 4×100 metres in Beijing. Edwards missed the 2004 Summer Games while serving a two-year doping suspensi