Justin Gatlin Will Admit Using Steroids in Exchange for a Hug – Not!
Justin Gatlin Will Admit Using Steroids in Exchange for a Hug – Not! By Millard Baker
What’s wrong with Justin Gatlin? Hasn’t he read the script to be followed by professional athletes caught doping with anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs? Redemption doesn’t come automatically to athletes that serve a four-year ban after failing a drug test for exogenous testosterone. The key to being accepted back into the sport is to publicly admit using steroids, to acknowledge that you made a mistake and to apologize profusely (preferably with tears).
Justin Gatlin decided to do things his way – by taking a page from Barry Bonds public relations manual – and denying that he ever knowingly used anabolic steroids (testosterone). Gatlin conveniently blamed his positive steroid test on a vengeful masseuse who unscrupulously used a testosterone cream during a massage.
Gatlin has been consistent – by taking a page from the Lance Armstrong public relations manual – and has not changed his hard-to-believe-explanation in over five years.
Since Justin Gatlin didn’t follow THE script, it has come as no surprise that sports writers have been hounding him about it and asking him to finally admit using steroids. Gatlin may have revealed a chink in his armor when he suggested to a New York Times reporter that he might be willing to admit knowingly using steroids in exchange for a hug!
When Jere Longman of the New York Times asked Gatlin, “Shouldn’t you just admit it? Then people would probably embrace you more,” Gatlin’s response was light but pointed: “If I say it right now, are you gonna give me a hug?”
“I’ve always, for the whole five years since it happened, stuck by my story,” Gatlin said. “It hasn’t swayed. That’s the way I was raised, and if I did it, I would have said so.”
Seriously, Gatlin probably doesn’t feel the need to ever admit using steroids since he already has the full support of the USA Track and Field (USATF). USATF doesn’t go about supporting athletes banned for doping willy-nilly. USATF generally does not support athletes who attempt a comeback to the sport after serving a ban for using performance-enhancing drugs. “We would essentially ignore them and pretend they didn’t exist,” according to USATF spokesperson Jill Greer. Since Gatlin inexplicably has the unconditional support of USATF, he probably doesn’t really need that hug so badly anyway.