Athletics

Justin Gatlin's agent speaks out after 'biased' reporting

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Renaldo Nehemiah, Justin Gatlin's agent, has come out and attacked critics of his client, especially journalists in the British media.

The new 2015 100 and 200 metre world championship silver medalist has twice been banned for doping in Athletics. Because of this, a lot of people think he shouldn't be allowed to compete in the sport.

Gatlin is not alone when it comes to doping and can't take full blame for the shadow that drugs cheating has thrown over the sport in recent times. But, his lack of remorse, at least publicly, has sparked off anger between fans and many involved in the sport.

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Nehemiah told the BBC that Gatlin, "needs to be recognised as a human being," and shouldn't "bear the brunt," of all the doping criticism."

His comments came after many in the British media favored Olympic and world 100 and 200 metre champion Usain Bolt over the American and portrayed Bolt as all that was good in Athletics and Gatlin as all that is bad. 

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In particular, the agent accused Steve Cram and Michael Johnson, who both work for the BBC, of "bias" when it came to the race. 

Johnson replied by saying: "This is all Justin's fault, he did it, he is responsible, he was given the chance to come back into into the sport and he has done nothing -zero- to endear him back to the public and get people to understand his situation."

It is widely agreed that after making a mistake as Gatlin did and damaging a sport that has allowed him to be a professional athlete, and then being given another chance to compete after his ban, he should be doing more to fight doping. The 2004 Olympic champion hasn't even made a formal public apology for his actions.   

A point made by Johnson "He hasn't even said "I'm against doping in the sport, what Renaldo doesn't understand is Justin damaged the sport, it's hard to forgive him for that."

Steve Cram, who was commentating on the 100 metre final for the BBC, said Usain Bolt had "saved the sport," comments which were also criticised by Nememiah.  

Cram replied by stating, "The comment was not about Justin Gatlin. The whole sport needed it's hero to win and the one thing Justin Gatlin probably can never be is a hero. Bolt is popular because of his lack of arrogance, Gatlin has been unpopular because of his lack of contrition."

One thing is clear, if Athletics is to recover fully from its doping controversy, all that are involved in the sport, including former drug cheats, need to come together in a show of solidarity and make sure the sport doesn't go through another spell like it has just endured over the last few months.

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Topics:
Athletics
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt

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