Two athletes with pending drug cases were named to the U.S. Olympic team yesterday, according to a roster released by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Sprinter Torri Edwards and quarter miler Calvin Harrison are slated to be among 531 U.S. Olympians that travel to Athens for the Aug. 13-29 Summer Games pending the outcome of hearings for positive drug tests.
Edwards qualified for the team at last week's U.S. Olympic trials in Sacramento. Harrison failed to qualify, but was selected by U.S. men's Olympic track and field coach George Williams for the 4x400 relay pool.
Edwards, who finished second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 at the July 9-19 Olympic trials, is awaiting the result of an arbitration hearing. Harrison's hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Edwards, who tested positive for the stimulant nikethamide in April, has not contested the test result but argued during her hearing that she consumed the drug inadvertently in what she believed were glucose tablets given to her by her physical therapist. Arbitrators had not issued a ruling by late yesterday.
Harrison failed to qualify in the 400, the only event in which he competed at the trials. He tested positive last year for the stimulant modafinil and, because of a previous positive test, faces a two-year ban.
Williams said yesterday he named Harrison to the team simply because of his fifth-place finish in the 400. Williams said he filled the six available spots for the relay pool with the top six finishers.
"We just went in the order of finish," Williams said. "I had to put him in there because of where he finished. . . . I went straightforward with it. I'm not a political guy."
The International Olympic Committee altered its eligibility rules this year to accommodate the drug probe that has consumed U.S. track and field since last fall. Unlike previous Olympics, the IOC has agreed to take late substitutions for reasons other than injury or illness.
Should Harrison be banned, Williams said he would send the next-highest finisher not on the team -- Kelly Willie -- in Harrison's place.
Edwards faces penalties ranging from a public warning to a two-year suspension. If she were banned from the Games, the fourth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 would get to compete in both events. LaShaunte'a Moore finished fourth in the 200; Gail Devers finished fourth in the 100. Both are already on the roster.
Devers, however, could decline the spot in the 100 should she choose to concentrate on the 100 hurdles. She finished first in that event at the trials, and it is an approach she has taken in previous major international events. In that case, defending Olympic 100 champion Marion Jones -- who qualified only in the long jump -- would get to compete in that event.
Seven other athletes facing drug charges did not qualify for the U.S. team.
Chryste Gaines, Tim Montgomery, Alvin Harrison and Michelle Collins either failed to advance in their events or withdrew. Mickey Grimes, who tested positive for a steroid, did not advance, and Larry Wade, who also tested positive for a steroid, withdrew with an arm injury.