© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

Just as a leopard cannot change its spots, Justin Gatlin apparently cannot change his cheating ways.

To be taken seriously, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) needs to clear Gatlin’s entire competitive history from the record books as if he never existed.

So far, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is complicit having been very lenient on the serial cheater.

Gatlin was busted and suspended for two years for testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs in 2001 and in 2006 he was busted yet again. The first suspension was reduced to one year, the second suspension was reduced from eight years to four. When Gatlin returned to competition in 2010, he ran a time of 9.80, which was the fastest-ever performance for a man over the age of 30. Three years later he ran 9.74. What a charade.

Notoriously, Gatlin defeated Usain Bolt in Bolt’s final 100-metre race during the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championship in London, UK. Bolt has run heretofore inconceivable times, like the 100m in 9.58. The booing that rained down upon Gatlin in London after his win, was just.

How could Gatlin at 35 years-of-age possibly defeat Bolt?

Now he has been implicated again. This time in a scandal involving an undercover journalist, posing as a documentary filmmaker, the full story is here.

Here is hoping that Gatlin’s career goes gentle into that good night.  It has been a complete farce, Not the only farce by far, but was the beacon for the booing that echoed down upon him that night in London. The English were not harsh; the high-paying audience had enough of Gatlin and all of the other cheaters just like him.

Dennis Mitchell, his apparent coach, is a former star sprinter from the University of Florida. He also won medals during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the 100-metre dash and the 4 x100-metre relay. He also won a relay medal during the Atlanta Olympics. Mitchell owns four IAAF World Track and Field Championships medals. He was also a drug cheat; caught and banned.

Mitchell tested positive for high levels of testosterone in 1998. He later admitted that his coach Trevor Graham injected him with Human Growth Hormone.

Just like the leopard and Gatlin, it is not possible for Mitchell to change either; neither are guilty by association alone.

For the governing bodies of the sport of athletics as well as the anti-doping agencies to be taken seriously, they need to expunge the entire competitive history of athletes that have tested positive twice; Gatlin is the poster boy for permanent removal, why wait?

Of course, the question remains, why would USATF have hired Mitchell as a sprint coach when they did? How much influence does corporate money have on the two American governing bodies? How far removed from systematic doping is the US, from Russia?

Athletics, along with cycling, are the laughing stock of the sporting world. FIFA – and this is saying a lot – has a better reputation.

Below are the top-ten men all-time in the 100m distance event and to the right the drugs they were implicated with, here is the list of the top-91:

1 9.58 Usain Bolt Glen Mills
2 9.69 Tyson Gay Jon Drummond Anabolic Steroids/Oxilofrine – June 2013
3 9.69 Yohan Blake Glen Mills Methylxanthine – 2009
4 9.72 Asafa Powell Stephen Francis Banned Stimulant – June 2013
5 9.74 Justin Gatlin Trevor Graham Amphetamines/Testosterone- 2001/2006 – banned twice
6 9.78 Nesta Carter Stephen Francis  methylhexanamine
7 9.79 Ben Johnson Charlie Francis Stanazolol – 1988 – Banned for life.
8 9.79 Maurice Greene John Smith BALCO scandal, admitted buying
for friends. Not proven.
9 9.80 Steve Mullings Steve Dudley Furosemide – 2011 – Lifetime Ban
10 9.82 Richard Thompson John Smith