By Duncan Mackay

Robert Harting, seen here celebrating his victory at the European Championships in Zurich, has asked the IAAF to be taken off its list for World Athlete of the Year in protest at the inclusion of Justin Gatlin ©Getty ImagesGermany's Olympic discus champion Robert Harting wants the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to omit him from the Athlete of the Year shortlist that also features two-time convicted drugs cheat Justin Gatlin.

Harting, who also holds the world and European titles, is among 10 male athletes nominated for the award along with American Gatlin, who set a world's best time of 9.77sec in the 100 metres this year.

But Harting claims he did not want to be associated with the sprinter, banned twice in his caeer for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

"I ask the IAAF to remove me from the list," said 29-year-old Harting, unbeaten in major championships since 2008. 

"I find the nomination great.

"Yet I stand for nomination with a former doping offender, and that is the reason for my waiver."

Voting for the award is currently open to athletes, officials, member federations and media until October 16.

The winner is due to be announced by the IAAF's ruling Council on November 21 in Monaco.

Two-time convicted drugs cheat Justin Gatlin is a controversial choice among IAAF nominations for Athlete of the Year ©Getty ImagesTwo-time convicted drugs cheat Justin Gatlin is a controversial choice among IAAF nominations for Athlete of the Year ©Getty Images

Gatlin was first banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for amphetamines in 2001.

But he appealed on the grounds that the positive test had been due to medication that he had been taking since his childhood, when he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

The appeal resulted in an early reinstatement by the IAAF and he returned to win the Olympic 100m gold medal at Athens 2004.

But Gatlin served a second ban, this time for four years, after testing positive for testosterone in 2006.

The positive result led to his time of 9.77, set in Doha earlier in the year and which equalled the world record of the time, being annulled.

Gatlin's coach Trevor Graham claimed that he had been the victim of sabotage. 

Harting, meanwhile, is coached by Werner Goldmann, who in 1989 following the collapse of the Berlin Wall signed a letter admitting his part in systematic state doping while working with some of East Germany's top athletes.

Goldmann was later given a top coaching job in unified Germany only to be sacked from his position at the German Athletics Federation (DLV) after the German Olympic Sports Confederation ruled he had doped throwers in the 1980s.

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