Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli will compete for medal as he swims in the 2008 Olympics, even though he tested positive for amphetamines in 2006 (AFP). Mellouli used Adderall before a world championship meet. The Court of Arbitration for Sport bought his excuse of using Adderall to complete a paper at USC, two days before the meet. Interesting, that academic cheating only earns an 18 month suspension. Convenient that his 18 month ban ended in May of 2008, a couple months before Beijing.
Mellouli first feared he may miss out on his second Olympics when he faced a likely two-year doping ban.
The Tunisian claimed the positive result was due to him taking an "Adderall" pill two days earlier so he could stay awake to finish writing a university paper.
The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled said they were "surprised by the lack of perspicacity" on Mellouli's part in taking the drug so soon before a swimming event.
However, "if the swimmer was indeed guilty of negligence, such negligence was not sufficiently serious to suspend him for two years," CAS added.
CAS decided to suspend Mellouli for 18 months until May 29 just over two months before the Beijing Olympics and stripped him of all results obtained in the Melbourne 2007 world championships.
Mellouli lost a medal in the world meet, but will be allowed in the Olympics. Nice.
But he was subsequently stripped of the gold medal after testing positive for amphetamines and only completed his ban in May.
With all the talk of Australian champion Grant Hackett, South Korean youngster Park Tae-hwan and Americans Larsen Jensen and Peter Vanderkaay vying for the medals in the 400m freestyle, Mellouli has slipped under the radar.
Mellouli, a graduate in media engineering from the University of Southern California, finished second behind Park in the 400m at last year's world titles before he gave up his medals through his drugs sanction.