Sprinter won't appeal drug suspension

Sprinter Earle Connor has decided not to appeal the two-year suspension from competition he received after testing positive for drugs.

Sprinter Earle Connor has decided not to appeal the two-year suspension from competition he received after testing positive for drugs.

"He just decided that that was just not something he wanted to do," his lawyer Jim Smellie said. "He knows he's made a mistake, and the difference between a year and two years, assuming that he might have made out a case for a year, just wasn't persuasive enough for him to go through that exercise.

"It's been enough agony for the young man and he's going to move on with his life."

The 28-year-old athlete, who had been expected to win gold at the Paralympics in Athens, was banned after testosterone and the steroid nandralone were found in his system. He is the world-record holder in the men's amputee 100, 200 and 400 metres, as well as the 60 metres indoors.

Connor, who lost his left leg at three months because of a problem with his fibula, said he used a medically-prescribed patch to help normalize his testosterone levels after cancer surgery in 2001 that removed one of his testes. He said he was too embarrassed to tell anyone.

He said the nandrolone may have come from a nutritional supplement he took for a gastro-intestinal infection – something he was diagnosed with at a German competition in July.

Smellie says Connor, who won the prestigious Laureus World Sport Award earlier this year as the world's top athlete with a disability, has decided to admit he made a mistake and accept his punishment.

"I found him to be pretty much at peace with himself in terms of making this decision," Smellie said.

Connor will also lose his federal funding because of the positive drug test, but plans to continue training and return to competition in two years.