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Drug cheat Gatlin wins on track return

Justin Gatlin in action during his first race in four years at the Rakvere Stadium in Estonia on Tuesday.
Justin Gatlin in action during his first race in four years at the Rakvere Stadium in Estonia on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former Olympic and world champion sprinter Justin Gatlin wins on comeback in Estonia
  • The American wins his heat and the final of 100 meters at Kuldliiga meeting
  • He was banned in 2006 after testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone
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(CNN) -- Disgraced American sprinter Justin Gatlin made a successful return to competition on Tuesday following his four-year ban for drug use.

The 28-year-old, who won Olympic gold in the 100 meters in 2004 and two world titles the following year, made his comeback at an athletics meet in Eastern Europe.

He was the fastest in the 100m heats with a time of 10.34 seconds, qualifying ahead of his compatriots J-Mee Samuels and Rubin Williams at the Kuldliiga meeting in Estonia.

Gatlin, who tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone in April 2006, then triumphed in 10.24 in the final from Samuels (10.31) and Williams (10.54).

He had told reporters ahead of the event that he hoped to break the 10-second mark, but was nowhere near threatening his personal best of 9.85.

He will again run on Sunday at an event in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Gatlin had equaled Asafa Powell's former world record of 9.77 in May 2006, but this was later expunged from the books.

During his time away from the track, Gatlin spent time working with American NFL teams Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans but did not manage to earn a playing contract.