Berlin - The ruling athletics body IAAF have said on Wednesday it has asked German discus thrower Robert Harting to reconsider his withdrawal from an 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, European and Olympic champion Harting said Wednesday he has no plans to have his name back on the list as long as the American sprinter Gatlin, who served a four-year ban between 2006 and 2010 for a second offence, was on it.
"I am ready to 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 Harting's "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" Gatlin being on the 10-man list.
"I think you'd be surprised if I said I was sanguine about it -personally I have big problems with that," Coe said.
Gatlin won 100m Olympic gold in 2004 and double sprint gold at the 2005 worlds, and his medals also include 100m Olympic bronze in 2012 and 100m silver at the 2013 worlds.
This season, he ran the fastest time in the world over 100m and 200m, and - just as Harting - won the Diamond League trophy in his discipline.
The shortlist of 10 men and 10 women, selected by an international panel of athletics experts from around the world, was published by the IAAF last week, prompting Harting's request on the weekend to have his name rescinded.
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.