The attorney for quarter-miler Alvin Harrison, one of the four athletes cited for drug violations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, yesterday requested that the U.S. Olympic Committee intervene to protect Harrison's opportunity to compete in the upcoming Summer Games, charging USADA with bringing reckless and unfounded charges and abusing its authority.
In a letter to USOC CEO Jim Scherr, Harrison's attorney, Edward G. Williams, said USADA had failed to be specific about Harrison's alleged violations when it notified Harrison it was seeking a lifetime ban against him in a letter Wednesday. Tim Montgomery, Chryste Gaines and Michelle Collins received similar letters.
USADA's charging letter, Williams said, alleged that Harrison had participated in the "conspiracy" surrounding the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) and accused him of "involvement" with certain performance-enhancing drugs.
"We believe the charges are reckless and unfounded," Williams said. "Further, USADA's reliance on BALCO documents that are irrelevant, constitute hearsay, cannot be authenticated or are otherwise totally unreliable . . . is an abuse of USADA's purported authority and completely inconsistent with the high standards that must be adhered to by USADA. . . ."
Scherr was not immediately available to comment. USADA has a policy of not commenting on specific cases.
Williams also filed a request for an American Arbitration Association hearing for Harrison under the organization's commercial rules with the AAA's New York City office, declining to submit to arbitration under USADA's rules.
Williams made a similar attempt for arbitration for clients Regina Jacobs and Calvin Harrison -- Alvin's twin -- when both tested positive for banned substances last year. USADA refused, so Williams took both cases to a U.S. court, where they have been tied up for months.