Managers will no longer represent banned athletes

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MIAMI BEACH, Florida, Nov 10 (Reuters) Top athletics managers will no longer represent athletes who test positive for doping offenses and are suspended for two or more years, the Association of Athletics Managers (AAM) said.

The decision, effective immediately, applies to any athlete currently serving a ban of two years or more and future offenders, the group said in a statement yesterday.

The agreement was reached at the association's annual meeting in Miami Beach.

The 29-member group represents most of the sport's top athletes, including world record holders Asafa Powell, Liu Xiang, Haile Gebrselassie, Meseret Defar and Yelena Isinbayeva, and world champions Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix.

Rajne Soderberg, Euromeetings president and director of the DN Galan event in Stockholm, applauded the decision.

''The future of our sport depends on people finding ways to rid our ranks of those who use or turn a blind eye to the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and this is a bold step in that direction,'' Soderberg was quoted as saying.

REUTERS AB DS1413

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