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Merritt celebrates unexpected doping win
US gold medalist LaShawn Merritt celebrates unexpected doping win, looks forward to London
By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) ' LaShawn Merritt figured he was fighting long odds by challenging a doping rule that would've banned him from the London Olympics.

When his agent called Thursday morning, he expected the worst.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out the IOC rule that bars any athlete who has received a doping suspension of more than six months from competing in the next summer or winter games. The court said the rule is "invalid and unenforceable" because it amounts to a second penalty. Merritt completed his doping ban earlier this year after testing positive for a banned substance found in a male-enhancement product.

Merritt says he's learned a lot from the experience. He intends to come back better than ever to defend his 400-meter title at the London Games.

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