SEATTLE -- Duncan Atwood, former javelin star for the University of Washington, wants to put behind him the ruling from the International Amateur Athletic Federation banning him from competition for failing an anti-stimulant control test last summer.
'Let's let it die,' Atwood said from his home in Seattle. 'Let me go on with the future; it's better that way.'
Atwood, 30, a masters of business administration student at Washington, won't deny he used steroids in an attempt to improve his performance before the test last summer in Koblenz, West Germany. But he will not go into details.
'I'll leave that open to speculation,' he said.
Atwood had been a fixture on the American track and field scene for more than 10 years. A graduate of Lakeside High School in Seattle, he went to Washingtonand from there twice made the U.S. Olympic team (1980, 1984).
Last summer, while traveling the track circuit across Europe, Atwood won three meets, came in second twice and fourth once.
When the summer was over, Atwood was ranked third in the world in the javelin by Track and Field News with the third-longest throw -- 308 feet, 7 inches.
That was also when Atwood got in trouble.
'I'm guessing he got caught up in the situation,' said Ken Shannon, his former coach. 'He wanted to beat the throwers from the Communist countries, he joined them and he got caught.'
Experts have speculated Atwood may have indulged in steroids to beef up his size. At his biggest, Atwood was 6-foot-1 and weighed slightly more than 200 pounds -- relatively small for javelin throwers.
Atwood also may have put weight on for last summer's meets because they were the last to allow the old style javelin to be used. The new one is a slimmer model that will be more difficult for smaller javelin throwers to hurl.
It is believed steroid use is wide among world-class throwers.
'There is unbelieveable science and politics involved in boosting performance,' Atwood said. 'The politics and the stories you hear are pretty discouraging. I've heard about cyclists injecting frog venom into their legs to strengthen them. I've also heard that Eastern countries have had their women athletes artificially inseminated (creating pregnancy) three months before competition so they get a hormonal surge at the right time.'
Although Atwood could come back after 18 months if the IAAF allows, he said it is unlikely.
'I could be reinstated in 1987, and I've thought about another Olympics,' he said. 'But really, for me, the rule change affecting the javelin has been more disastrous for my career than the ban.'
And though he won't discuss his use of steroids, Atwood said the ban has had a permanent effect on his career.
'The damage is in the publicity and the smearing that goes on,' he said.