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Justin Gatlin to lead USA at Beijing games

International Sports

US sprint king Justin Gatlin US sprint king Justin Gatlin Justin Gatlin will lead a 130-strong US team at the World Championships in Beijing, with world silver medallist Nick Symmonds the notable absentee.

Gatlin is the fastest man in the world this year over 100m and 200m and his showdowns with defending champion Usain Bolt are eagerly anticipated.

Symmonds has been left out after refusing to sign a mandatory contract.

Galen Rupp, the 10,000m Olympic silver medallist, will compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m in the Bird's Nest.

The 29-year-old has recently faced doping allegations, along with his coach Alberto Salazar. Both Rupp and Salazar, 56, deny any wrongdoing.

Other prominent American athletes competing in the championships, which begin on 22 August, are Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix (200m, 400m and relay) and reigning world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton

Olympic champion Christian Taylor will attempt to regain the triple jump title he won in 2011, while LaShawn Merritt will defend his 400m crown.

Symmonds will be absent after the 31-year-old, a silver medallist in the 800m in 2013, refused to sign a mandatory USA Track and Field (USATF) contract that instructs athletes to wear Nike clothing.

After USATF issued a response saying it "respected Nick's decision", he tweeted that he was "offended" by the statement.

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