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Sprinter Mike Rodgers banned nine months for doping

Sprinter Mike Rodgers has accepted a nine-month ban for a failed drug test but will still be able to compete in the London Olympics if he qualifies, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Thursday.

The former American 100 meters champion, who tested positive at an event in Italy last July, will be banned through April 19, making him eligible for the U.S. Olympic trials in June if he meets testing requirements.

The 26-year-old U.S. world indoor 60 meters silver medalist originally said the banned stimulant was in a drink he had at a club in Italy. Rodgers's agent told Reuters the sprinter would make a statement later on Thursday.

USADA said Rodgers, the second fastest American and seventh fastest globally last year at 100 meters, gave "inaccurate and misleading testimony" at his hearing but eventually agreed to his ban before the arbitration panel could act upon it.

(Reporting By Gene Cherry in Salvo North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)