Discus champ asked to reconsider protest

Discus champion Robert Harting has been asked to reconsider withdrawing his name from an award list. (AAP)

Olympic discus champion Robert Harting has been asked to reconsider the withdrawal of his name from an award list that also includes a doping offender.

The ruling athletics body IAAF says it has asked German discus thrower Robert Harting to reconsider the withdrawal of his name from the Athlete of the Year shortlist in protest of the nomination of former doping offender Justin Gatlin.

"The IAAF has been in touch with Robert Harting's manager and asked her to inform Robert that we want him to remain on the list because he is a worthy champion," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told DPA in an e-mailed statement.

The world and Olympic champion Harting said on Wednesday he has no plans to have his name back on the list as long as the American sprinter Gatlin, who is competing again after serving a four-year ban between 2006 and 2010 for a second offence, remained on it.

"I am ready to stand for election again. But only if athletes who have misbehaved are scrapped from this year's list and are subject of a general nomination ban in the future," Harting told DPA.

IAAF sources have indicated that its council will likely decide on such a ban - via a planned recommendation by the athletes commission - with an according rule.

Davies said that Harting has not yet answered the IAAF, and he suggested that his "commitment to clean athletics means that he will get votes from members of the athletics family who support his position and see him as an 'anti-Gatlin'".

IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe was quoted by the BBC as saying he is "not particularly comfortable about" the 2004 Olympic 100 metres champion Gatlin being on the list announced last week.

The shortlist of 10 men and 10 women is selected by an international panel of athletics experts from around the world.

The athletics family including athletes, IAAF officials, meeting directors, sponsors and the media elect the winners, who will be announced at the World Athletics Gala on November 21.

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