By Duncan Mackay

Shawn Crawford Athens 2004April 18 - Former Olympic 200 metres champion Shawn Crawford has been banned for two years after failing to give his whereabouts details for out-of-competition testing to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), it was announced tonight.

The 35-year-old Californian was part of the USADA National Testing Pool from 2001 through the beginning of 2013, and was required to provide his whereabouts for out-of-competition testing, but failed to do so three times in an 18-month span, USADA said.

Crawford had three "whereabouts failures" in 18 months, USADA claimed.

That can include failing to provide regular information about how to be found for tests "and/or failure to be available for testing due to inaccurate or incomplete information," USADA said.

Crawford's two-year period of ineligibility began on April 17, 2013, the date he received the sanction.

As a result of the violation, Crawford who finished seventh in the US Trials for London 2012 and failed to qualify for the Olympics, has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to November 17, 2012 the date of his third whereabouts failure

Shawn Crawford wins Athens 2004 200mShawn Crawford (number 3246) crosses the line to claim the Olympic 200m gold medal at Athens 2004

At Athens, Crawford led the first medal sweep for American men in the 200m in 20 years in a race overshadowed by the controversy which had proceeded it.

The defending champion, Greece's Konstandinos Kenderis, had been banned from competing after failing to attend a drugs test on the eve of the race, which he claimed was because he had been involved in a motor-cycle accident.

Crawford also won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay in Athens as the US were surprisingly beaten by Britain.

Four years later, in Beijing 2008, he won silver medal in the 200m having originally finished fourth in a race won by Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

Crawford was promoted to second after fellow countryman Wallace Spearmon and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles were both disqualified for lane infringements.

Crawford later gave his medal to Martina because he believed he should not have been disqualified.

Shawn Crawford gives medal away after Beijing 2008Shawn Crawford gave his Olympic 200m silver medal from Beijing 2008 to Churandy Martina, who had been controversially disqualified for a lane infringement

Crawford's suspension means that both the American champions of the 100m and 200m at Athens 2004 have both served drugs bans since they won their gold medals.

Justin Gatlin, the 100m gold medallist, was banned for four years in 2006 after testing positive for testosterone, although he has always protested his innocence.

Gatlin had also finished third in the 200m at Athens 2004.

Crawford was previously coached by Trevor Graham, who also coached Gatlin and Marion Jones, winner of five medals, including three gold medal at Sydney 2000, and former world 100m record holder Tim Montgomery.

Jones and Montgomery were also both banned for taking drugs, as were at least five other American athletes coached by Graham.

Trevor Graham with Marion JonesShawn Crawford is the latest athlete with links to coach Trevor Graham (right) to have been given a drugs ban, including Marion Jones (left)

Even after his Olympic success, Crawford was still best known to many in the US for staring in an episode of the Fox TV show Man versus Beast in 2003 in which he raced a zebra and a giraffe over 100m on dirt.

In the first race he easily beat the giraffe but lost to the zebra, although Crawford accused him of a false start.

He later re-raced the zebra, who won again despite Crawford leading him initially.

After the race Crawford adopted the nickname "Cheetah Man".

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]