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NFL's Willie Gault Training Suspended Para-Athlete ... For Return To Competition

4/10/2016 12:45 AM PDT

NFL's Willie Gault Is Training Suspended Para-Athlete ... For Return To Competition

EXCLUSIVE

NFL legend Willie Gault -- one of the fastest men in NFL history -- is getting back on the track to help a suspended world class Para-athlete make a triumphant return to Track & Field. 

TMZ Sports has learned Gault is training Blake Leeper ... a Paralympic star who in February was slapped with a 1-year suspension from USADA stemming from a positive cocaine test in 2015.

We talked to Willie during a training session with Blake ... and he told us he took the gig 'cause he thinks Leeper deserves a second chance to chase that gold medal.

"He's a really good kid," Gault said, adding, "He made a mistake, he had a problem."

Gault ... who still competes in track events himself at age 55 ... maintains since Leeper tested positive for cocaine -- not a performance enhancing drug -- the suspension was too harsh.

"It just doesn't make sense."

We also spoke with 26-year-old Leeper ... who told our guy he's determined to live a clean life, and has actually taken a vow of sobriety.

"I'm living a complete clean life ... it's about being the 24 hour athlete on and off the track."

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