Justin Gatlin, the World Champion, who was banned twice for drug use, has a lot to answer for after his coach and agent promised undercover reporters to supply banned drugs.
“I was shocked and surprised to learn that my coach would have anything to do with even the appearance of these current accusations. I fired him as soon as I found out about this. All legal options are on the table as I will not allow others to lie about me like this,” said Justin Gatlin.
Undercover reporters of the Daily Telegraph recorded Justin Gatlin’s coach Dennis Mitchell and agent Robert Wagner promising to supply and administer anabolic steroid testosterone and human growth hormone to an actor for $250,000. The offer was made at Gatlin’s training camp in Florida. The undercover reporters posed as representatives of a production company.
‘Everybody does it’
Investigations began in July after reporters were tipped off that agents and trainers were involved in supplying drugs. One of the people the reporters met was Wagner, who at one point says, “You think Justin is not doing this? Do you think Dennis (Mitchell) wasn’t doing this? Everybody does it.”
Offer to train with Gatlin
Wagner introduced the reporters to Mitchell — Gatlin’s coach. Both of them claimed they had the experience of administrating ‘pharmaceutical products’ in athletics. But Mitchell told one of the reporters that he was not using it on his athletes. Wagner also allegedly said that he could organise a training programme for the ‘actor’ and that the actor could stay and train with Gatlin at his Florida base. Coach Mitchell also told reporters that he would be able to spot side effects of taking Human Growth Hormone, like an enlarged heart.
Gatlin has “categorically denied” the use of any performance-enhancing drug. He also said that Wagner was not his regular agent. Gatlin’s lawyers added that their client had undergone multiple drug tests since 2012. The sprinter’s lawyers also revealed drugs test results from five years to show that he had never failed a drug test. Gatlin’s agent Renaldo Nehemiah — who has been with him for 14 years — said that Wagner had worked for Gatlin not more than ‘two’ or ‘three’ times. However, during the undercover operation Gatlin had refereed to Wagner as a ‘good man’ whose ‘connections ran deep’.