David Jenkins (sprinter)

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David Jenkins
Jenkins in Carlsbad, California, where he resides
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich 4 × 400 m relay
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1971 Helsinki 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1974 Rome 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1974 Rome 400 m
European Cup
Gold medal – first place 1975 Nice 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1975 Nice 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1973 Edinburgh 400 m
Bronze medal – third place 1973 Edinburgh 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1973 Moscow 4 × 400 m relay
Bronze medal – third place 1973 Moscow 400 m
Representing  Scotland
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 4 × 100 m relay

David Andrew Jenkins (born 25 May 1952) is a Scottish former track and field sprinter and convicted felon who competed mainly in the 400 metres. He later confessed (after being convicted of drug smuggling – see below) to using performance enhancing anabolic steroids. His personal best for the distance is 44.93 seconds, set in 1975, which was a British record for over twelve years.[1] He represented Great Britain at three Summer Olympics (1972, 1976 and 1980) and placed seventh in the 400 m at the two latter editions.[2]

Jenkins was the gold medallist at the 1971 European Athletics Championships while still a teenager. He took silver with the 4 × 400 metres relay team at the 1972 Summer Olympics the following year. The 1974 European Athletics Championships saw him finish as runner-up in the individual event, but he was European champion in the relay with Great Britain. He also won a relay gold medal for Scotland at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, sharing in the 4 × 100 metres relay medals.

Jenkins was later convicted of smuggling $100 million of illegal anabolic steroids into the United States, a felony, and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Following his early release from prison for being an informant, he grew a legal fitness products enterprise in the form of NEXT Proteins. He also registered several patents around his invention of carbonated protein drinks. His brother Roger Jenkins is also a former athlete and was a prominent investment executive at Barclays Bank who faces a possible 22 years in prison after having been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (United Kingdom) with bank fraud.[3][4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago, British West Indies, Jenkins was the son of an oil refinery manager.

Jenkins was educated at Edinburgh Academy, where he excelled at sport. From 1970 to 1973 he attended the University of Edinburgh (1970–1973) where, as a British Petroleum industrial apprentice. he received a BSc in chemical engineering.[7] He then went on to study at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he received a postgraduate diploma in business management and marketing (1974).[8]

In 1976, Jenkins was awarded a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trusts. His project's title was "Community sport participation and provision", and the fellowship enabled him to visit the United States and West Germany.[8]

Jenkins is US Representative for The Edinburgh Academy's Academical Club.[9]

Athletics career[edit]

Jenkins' first coach was Jake Young, then head of physical education at the Edinburgh Academy. In his youth, Jenkins was the European record holder at 400-metres for under 17 and under 19 years old. In 1969 he represented Great Britain's senior open team in Hamburg, West Germany, winning the 400-metres aged 17 years four months.[10] Jenkins' international athletic career spanned three decades, 1969 through 1982 starting on cinder tracks, to synthetic tracks from hand timing to electronic timing.

From 1970–1973 and again in 1980 Jenkins was coached by the then Scottish National Coach, John Anderson. He started off as Scottish 100/200/400 champion, followed by his first of 6 AAA's 400 metre titles. Also in 1971, still aged only nineteen, Jenkins won the 400 metres at the 1971 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

He went on to compete for Great Britain in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany in the 4 x 400-metre relay where he won the silver medal with his teammates Martin Reynolds, Alan Pascoe and David Hemery. From 1973 to 1977 Hemery, a contemporary and 1968 Olympic hurdles champion, coached Jenkins.[11]

In 1974 he won the silver medal on the 400 metres at the European Athletics Championships in Rome as well as the gold medal in the 4x 400-metre with his teammates Glen Cohen, William Hartley and Alan Pascoe. The race announcer remarked that Jenkins had the "greatest run of his life", when he won the 4 × 400 m relay.[12]

In 1975 he was United States of America 400-metre champion, with his fastest time of his career 44.93 which was a British record at the time. In 1975, Jenkins and his brother, Roger Jenkins, represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland v. Finland at Crystal Palace, London as the UK's No. 1 and No. 2 400-metre runners.[13]

Both David and his brother Roger feature prominently in the book A Life In A Day In A Year [14] by Peter Hoffmann which describes their athletics training at Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh and their racing careers between 1973 and 1978.[15]

Scottish documentary company, Pelicula Films, featured David Jenkins during his training in 1975 as he prepared for the 1976 Olympic Games (Montreal, Quebec, CA). The film, The Long Sprint: Diary of an Olympic Athlete, follows Jenkins from his training, races and the Olympic Games heats. Jenkins qualified for the Olympic 400-metre finals but did not medal. The documentary film was directed by Michael Alexander and won the Gold Grand Prix Award in the British International Sport Film and Television Festival in 1977.[16][17]

In 1976 and 1980 Jenkins placed seventh on the 400-metre final at the Summer Olympics.

In 1977 Jenkins participated in the first IAAF World Cup in the 4×400-metre relay at the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, West Germany. He also won the 200 metres at the Jubilee Games event.

In 1978 he won a gold medal competing for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada in the 4 × 100 m relay, alongside Cameron Sharp, Allan Wells and Drew McMaster.

In 1980 he was U.K 400-metre champion.

He competed at the 1982 European Championships in the 4×400–metre relay.[18]

He later admitted to having taken performance-enhancing steroids during his athletics career.

In 1998 former British 400-metre Olympic silver medalist Roger Black dedicated a chapter titled "The Jenkins Factor," in his autobiography How Long is the Course ISBN 0-233-99644-3 to Jenkins who was helping advise him in the final months of his 1996 Olympic preparation. Jenkins was credited with changing Black's philosophy on sports and competition.[19]

Personal bests[edit]

  • British record holder over 400 metres from 1971–1985
  • Held British and United Kingdom records for best performances 100 metres at 10.1 seconds [10.33], 200 metres at 20.3 seconds [20.66], 300 metres at 32.44 seconds, 400 metres at 44.93 seconds and 500 metres at 1:00.9 seconds.[13]
  • 1971 – Jenkins broke iconic Scottish Olympic sprint champion, Eric Liddell's, University of Edinburgh's 400-metre record of 47.6 seconds (world and Olympic record Paris, France 1924). A record Liddell held from 1924 until 1971. Jenkins' University record of 45.3 seconds (Europa Cup Semi-final Oslo, Norway, 1973) remains today.

Drug smuggling conviction[edit]

Jenkins claimed that during his career he felt pressure to uphold high competitive standards and so he used anabolic steroids. "I used too much," he said. "It was the beginning of selling my soul, really."[20]

In the 1980s Jenkins together with Juan Javier Macklis set up a plant for the production of anabolic steroids in Mexico which they wanted to illegally sell in the United States. In April 1987 Jenkins was arrested and pleaded guilty in December of that year for the trafficking of steroids worth around $100 million which was caught at the Tijuana border.

Jenkins was sentenced by Judge J. Lawrence Irving in US District Court San Diego to seven years in the Boron Federal Prison Camp in California’s Mojave Desert.[21][22] The Independent newspaper of Britain reported that Jenkins became an informant and was thus able to be released after serving only 10 months and 15 days.[23][24]

Admitting he "screwed up" by getting involved in the steroid-smuggling operation, While out on bail Jenkins became involved in a legal fitness enterprise.[20]

Business career[edit]

During the late 1970s Jenkins began his commercial career as the sales director at Reebok International in Bolton Lancashire, England. There he was involved in product development and testing. In addition, in the late 1970s he met with and visited Paul Fireman, head of a US sporting goods distributor, in Boston introducing him to Reebok and helping establish the then embryonic brand in the United States.[25]

In 1988 Jenkins started his nutrition company and began working on a protein powder, convinced that its muscle-building properties could be marketed as a healthy, legal alternative to steroids.[26] This is when he created and launched Pro Optibol.

Combining his engineering degree and manufacturing knowledge with his passion for sports, Jenkins went to work developing whey-based powders.[27]

NEXT Proteins[edit]

Jenkins is a serial entrepreneur, and inventor within the United States sports nutrition industry and is an international multi-patent holder.[28][29]

Jenkins founded and incorporated NEXT Nutrition, based in Carlsbad, California, in 1988.[30] In 1993 he set up a partnership with Dan Duchaine, a well known steroid guru and two-time convicted felon, and founded Next Proteins, a company which produced dietary supplements for athletes and bodybuilders. When Duchaine died Jenkins became the chairman of Next Nutrition.[10] NEXT Proteins, Inc. is the creator of the world’s first carbonated protein drinks.[31][32][33][34][35][36]

In September 2006 NEXT Proteins sold its protein bar business and factory in Minden, Nevada to Forward Foods.[37]

In 2011 Jenkins sold the Designer Whey business including the protein powders, bars and shakes business to Designer Protein, LLC., a subsidiary of Athena Wellness Brands, LLC.[28]


Jenkins founded Xipe Press in 1996 and published the book Underground Bodyopus: Militant Weight Loss and Recomposition. The book was authored by two-time convicted felon Dan Duchaine.[38]


  1. ^ British 400 Men Overall All Time to 46.99. Power of 10. Retrieved on 2014-09-07.
  2. ^ David Jenkins. Sports-reference (25 May 1952). Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  3. ^ https://www.sfo.gov.uk/2017/06/20/sfo-charges-in-barclays-qatar-capital-raising-case/
  4. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/20/barclays-four-charged-bankers-sfo-john-varley
  5. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/06/20/sfo-charges-barclays-bank-former-boss-john-varley-conspiracy/
  6. ^ https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/four-exbarclays-executives-charged-with-fraud-plot-over-qatar-bailout-a3568911.html
  7. ^ Mike Rowbottom. Drugs in sport: The former cheat who prospered, The Independent, 14 December 1998
  8. ^ a b David Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, designer whey. Spoke. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  9. ^ The edinburgh academical club online. Accie.org. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  10. ^ a b Alessandro Donati: World Traffic in Doping Substances. WADA, February 2007, p. 30, (Pdf, 542 KB)
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?index=4&playnext=1&v=Jobe3AOEsvo&list=PL845DB72AB3B9C6AE
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ a b Ron Pickering "Athletics 75: A Birds Eye Yearbook"
  14. ^ ISBN 978-1973962663
  15. ^ https://www.scotsman.com/sport/athletics/meadowbank-is-the-stadium-of-dreams-for-peter-hoffman-1-4549399
  16. ^ Michael Alexander. LONG SPRINT: Diary of an Olympic Athlete. Pelicula Film, 1975
  17. ^ Business Search – Business Entities – Business Programs Archived 2 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. Kepler.sos.ca.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  18. ^ Video on YouTube
  19. ^ Roger Black. "How Long is the Course?" Andre Deutsch Publishing, 1 April 1998.
  20. ^ a b Jonathan Eig. "Olympic Runner Goes for Protein Gold --- Snack Chip Gives Athlete Lead Over Food Giants and Helps Redeem Tarnished Career" The Wall Street Journal, 27 March 2000
  21. ^ "Illegal steroids:Shamed Olympian was brains behind smuggling operation".
  22. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (14 December 1998). "Drugs in sport: The former cheat who prospered". The Independent. London.
  23. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/drugs-in-sport-the-former-cheat-who-prospered-1191413.html
  24. ^ "LONG SPRINT: Diary of an Olympic Athlete". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  25. ^ http://www.spoke.com/info/p10nXpj/DavidJenkins
  26. ^ Duncan Mackay. "Sportsmen who went to jail" The Observer, 3 February 2002 http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,,642508,00.html
  27. ^ Steve Cram. "Jenkins shows Jones that cheats can prosper" The Guardian, 14 January 2008 https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2008/jan/15/athletics.sport2
  28. ^ a b Press Release "Partnership Capital Growth Facilitates NEXT Proteins Deal" BEVNET, 26 April 2011 http://www.bevnet.com/news/newswire/2011/partnership-capital-growth-facilitates-next-proteins-deal/
  29. ^ "Forward Foods Acquires Detour Protein Bars", NutraceuticalsWorld.com, 1 November 2006 http://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2006-11/view_industry-news/forward-foods-acquires-detour-protein-bars-2006-11-01-00-00-00
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
  31. ^ United States Patent: 7799363
  32. ^ United States Patent: 7794770
  33. ^ United States Patent: 7842326
  34. ^ United States Patent: 7897192
  35. ^ United States Patent: 7906160
  36. ^ United States Patent: 7205018
  37. ^ "Forward Foods Acquires Detour Protein Bars", NutraceuticalsWorld.com, 1 November 2006 http://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2006-11/view_industry-news/forward-foods-acquires-detour-protein-bars-2006-11-01-00-00-00/
  38. ^ Daniel Duchaine (1996). Underground Bodyopus: Militant Weight Loss and Recomposition. XIPE Press. ISBN 0-9653107-0-1.

External links[edit]