Thoughts on Justin Gatlin: from Seb Coe, Dai Greene, Renaldo Nehemiah, from EME News

Justin Gatlin, September 2014, photo by

Seb Coe, photo by

Dai Greene, photo by

Renaldo Nehemiah, Kirani James, Harvey Glance, photo by

There has been a huge controversy surrounding Justin Gatlin being named as a candidate for the IAAF Athlete of the Year. His performances show that he is undefeated at 100m and 200m in 2014. Justin Gatlin was the best sprinter of 2014, not much argument there. 

The issue is this: Justin Gatlin served four years for a positive drug test in 2006, which he still denies. In American culture, when one serves time, they are supposed to get a second chance. Gatlin obviously has been tested not only while he served the ban, but also since he began training. In British sports culture, a drug positive is a drug cheat and many believe that they should not be allowed to compete, period. 

Doping in athletics is the chancre just below the surface of our sport. How can one call athletes "convicted dopers"  when they have never been tried in a court of law? How can USADA and WADA develop a program that get the support of all of the federations? Do we give athletes who dope second chances or not?  Does the IAAF allow athletes to compete, but no dopers get to be Athletes of Year? 

These questions and others must be answered for us to put a strong and useful program for reversing the damage that doping has has done to athletes. I have added just a few comments, from Sebastian Coe, Dai Greene and Renaldo Nehemiah. 

Your comments? Send to [email protected] 


LONDON (GBR): IAAF Vice President Sebastian Coe has said that he has "big problems" with Justin Gatlin's presence on the IAAF Athlete of the Year shortlist, inform AP. "I think you'd be pretty surprised if I did sit here and was sanguine about that. I personally have big problems with that," said the former middle distance star, who is in the running to be the next IAAF president.

BATH (GBR): Top British hurdler Dai Greene feels that Justin Gatlin's spectacular 2014 season has been fueled by performance enhancing drugs, report the BBC. He believes that Gatlin's 2014 success, which included 9.77 and 19.68 clockings for 100m and 200m respectively, show one of two things; "either he's still taking performance-enhancing drugs to get the best out of him at his advanced age, or the ones he did take are still doing a fantastic job.  "Because there is no way he can still be running that well at this late point in his career. "After having years on the sidelines, being unable to train or compete, it doesn't really add up. 9.77 is an incredibly fast time. You only have to look at his performances. I don't believe in them."

LONDON (GBR): Gatlin's agent, former 110 m hurdles world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, defended his client. Informs BBC. "Justin would have run these times, and faster, had his overzealous coach, Trevor Graham, not tried to get him there sooner than he would've naturally gotten there," Nehemiah told the BBC, mentioning the coach Gatlin worked under when he failed a drug test in 2006. So, what Justin is doing right now, I'm not surprised by that. His body is rested for four years, so he wasn't racing. And he was the talent that I always knew he was. It's between the rest, and the talent that he always had, and the determination to prove everyone wrong, to prove that he was always this good." 

RESTON (USA): Agent Renaldo Nehemiah also confirmed that Justin Gatlin will not compete during the coming indoor season but concentrate on summer. It has logic behind as for US athletes during the 2015 indoor no global event is in the calendar. Next World Indoor Championships are planned for 2016 in Portland, USA. Nehemiah also added that Gatlin was tested multiple times this year out and in the competition. 

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