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Justin Gatlin faces doping allegations after reporters go undercover

The current world champion in the men's 100m and now former members of his team were the target of an undercover investigation by journalists

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The 2017 IAAF World Championships men’s 100m gold medallist is embroiled in doping allegations following an undercover investigation by the Telegraph.

American Justin Gatlin, who upset Usain Bolt in London to win gold, has denied any wrongdoing after the Telegraph wrote “members of his team offered to illicitly supply performance-enhancing drugs.” Gatlin immediately fired coach Dennis Mitchell, writing on Instagram that “I was shocked and surprised to learn that my coach would have anything to do with even the appearance of these current accusations.”

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion in the 100m, served an four-year ban (from eight years) in 2006. According to the Telegraph, undercover reports visited the 35-year-old, as well as Mitchell and “occasional representative” Robert Wagner in Florida at a training camp. In Florida, the report claims that Mitchell and Wagner offered to “supply and administer testosterone and human-growth hormone for an actor training for a film” as the undercover investigator posed as a film producer.

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The Telegraph adds that Mitchell, an Olympic gold medallist himself who was busted for PEDs, and Wagner admitted to the undercover reporter that “the use of banned substances in athletics was still widespread as they described how positive doping tests could be avoided.” Wagner, in one instance according to the claims, said that Gatlin had “himself been taking performance-enhancing drugs.”

“I am not using and have not used PEDs,” Gatlin wrote as part of a statement posted to his Instagram account on Tuesday, one day after the report’s release. He says he has no further comments on the subject as it’s a “legal matter.” Gatlin’s team released five years worth of doping tests on Monday in denying the doping allegations.

The IAAF and USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) have launched an investigation into Gatlin after learning of the report, which began in July, according to the Telegraph. The undercover investigator was offered testosterone and human-growth hormone, intended for the star of the film, from Austria, for a fee of US$250,000.

In response to the report, Wagner, after claiming that using drugs was a “daily situation” and his “field of expertise,” says “I wasn’t involved in doping. Obviously I played along because I knew what was going on. I had to get them hooked,” referring to the movie producer.

Justin Gatlin
Photo: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil/ Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License.

Gatlin defeated Bolt in the men’s 100m final in London clocking 9.92 as the Jamaican finished third.