Justin Gatlin caught up in another doping scandal

In August, runner Justin Gatlin made history when he won gold in the men’s 100 metres at the World Championships in Athletics in London.

With the win, he officially dethroned the legendary Usain Bolt to claim the title of fastest man in the world. But now, Gatlin finds himself in hot water, as shades of 2006 came back in the form of a doping investigation. 

According to the Telegraph, the scandal revolves around members of his team offering to illicitly supply performance-enhancing drugs.

Now Gatlin and his coach, former Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell, are being investigated by sports and doping authorities. The members of the team allegedly offered to provide prescriptions under a false name and smuggle the substances to America. 

Undercover reporters arrived at Gatlin’s training camp in Florida, where Mitchell and an athletics agent offered to provide and administer testosterone and human-growth hormone for an actor training for a film. 

Mitchell and the agent, Robert Wagner, were also secretly recorded claiming the use of banned substances in athletics was still widespread as they described how to avoid testing positive for doping. 

The agent claimed that Gatlin himself had taken the performance-enhancing drugs, though Gatlin denied this in a statement. Gatlin’s legal representatives announced that he had sacked his coach and revealed more than five years’ worth of official drug tests to show “he has never tested positive for any banned substance”.

Gatlin’s agent for the last 14 years, Renaldo Nehemiah, said that Wagner had worked for Gatlin on no more than two or three occasions and that the sprinter was not present when the subject of banned substances came up with the agent or coach.

The revelations threaten to reignite of doping in the sport just three years after Russia was said to have systematically doped its athletes. Gatlin himself has twice been banned for doping, first in 2001 and then again in 2006. 

Due to his checkered past, it’s likely the track and field star won’t get the benefit of the doubt. The investigation is still ongoing and everyone is wondering: Is Gatlin telling the truth? 

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