Sprinter who took on zebra gets two-year ban - video

Apr 19, 2013

Shawn Crawford also beat giraffe and won 200m gold at Athens Olympics

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A US Olympic sprinter who once demanded a rematch against a zebra because of a false start has been banned for two years after falling foul of anti-doping rules.

Shawn Crawford, who won gold in the 200m at the Athens Olympics, failed to tell officials of his whereabouts for out-of-competition drugs tests three times in 18 months. He has now been suspended from competition and stripped of all results dating back to November 17 last year.

Crawford, 35, starred in an episode of TV show Man vs Beast in 2003 in which he raced against a zebra called Zippedy and a giraffe over 100m. He easily beat the giraffe in the first race, but lost to the zebra.

However, there was controversy when he accused Zippedy of a false start and demanded a rerun. His request was granted but Crawford was bested in the second race as well, and afterwards commented: "What can I say? I got beat by a zebra."

Despite his disappointment, the performance earned him the nickname "cheetah-man" and he later told ESPN magazine: "Tell the zebra I coulda whooped him."

The following year Crawford performed rather better in the Athens Olympics and led a US clean sweep in the 200m final, beating compatriots Bernard Williams and Justin Gatlin to gold. Four years later in Beijing he took silver in the 200m and the 4x100m relay.

He later donated his 200m silver to Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles, who originally finished second in the race behind Usain Bolt but was disqualified for running outside his lane.

Crawford did not compete at the London Games after finishing seventh in the US sprint trials.

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