With a top U.S. sprinter barred from this summer's Athens Games -- and the potential for additional doping cases to follow -- national track and field officials have asked for advice should suspended athletes sue to get onto the Olympic team.
In a May 26 letter obtained by The Times, USA Track & Field asked the U.S. Olympic Committee for help regarding a number of legal scenarios.
The confusion stems from anti-doping officials' seeking to bar athletes not because of positive drug tests, but because of circumstantial evidence such as checks and e-mails unearthed in the BALCO steroids case.
Though sprinter Kelli White recently agreed to a suspension when confronted with such evidence, so-called "nonanalytical positive" cases remain controversial.
In their letter, track and field officials asked the USOC for "clear guidance."
USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said: "We are in receipt of the letter. We are working on a response that we believe is appropriate."