Justin Gatlin

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Justin Gatlin
Justin Gatlin by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Justin Gatlin at the 2013 IAAF World Championships
Personal information
Full name Justin Alexander Gatlin
Nationality American
Born (1982-02-10) February 10, 1982 (age 33)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Residence Orlando, Florida
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Weight 183 lb (83 kg)[1]
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Sprints
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 100m: 9.74 (Doha 2015)
200m: 19.57 (Eugene, Oregon 2015)

Justin Gatlin (born February 10, 1982) is an American sprinter, who is an Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter dash. His 100m personal best is 9.74 seconds. He is a twice World indoor champion in the 60-meter dash.

In 2001, he incurred a two-year ban from Athletics for testing positive for a banned substance; the ban was later reduced to one year on appeal.

In 2006, he incurred a four-year ban from track and field for testing positive for a banned substance, with this sanction erasing his then-world-record time of 9.77s in the 100m. Gatlin began competing again in August 2010, soon after his eligibility was reinstated. In June 2012 at the US Olympic trials, Gatlin ran a time of 9.80s, which was the fastest-ever time for a man over the age of 30.

At the London 2012 Olympics, Gatlin ran a time of 9.79s in the 100 m final, earning him a bronze medal. His performance at the 2012 Olympic 100 meter final contributed to the fastest 100m race ever, which saw three men run under the 9.80-second barrier, he was severely caned by both Bolt and Blake and was later quoted as saying "after the race I went home and sat on the toilet straining during a dump whilst crying simultaneously at my humiliating defeat". Gatlin became the world leader of 2014 in the 200 meters on 18 July, when he won his race in 19.68 seconds at the Diamond League event in Monaco.[2]


Gatlin attended Woodham High School in Pensacola, Florida.

In the fall of 2000, Gatlin arrived at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as a good high school 110m hurdler. During high school, Justin was recruited for track by coaches Vince Anderson and Bill Webb who quickly realized his potential and turned him into a sprinter.[3] After training and competing in UT's program for two years under the guidance of former Tennessee assistant Vince Anderson, Gatlin won six consecutive NCAA titles. In the fall of 2002, Gatlin left Tennessee after his sophomore season to join the professional ranks. Just two years later, he won the gold medal in the 100m (9.85s) at the 2004 Summer Olympics, narrowly beating Francis Obikwelu of Portugal and the defending champion Maurice Greene. He also won a bronze medal in a USA sweep of the 200m race, and a silver medal as a member of the 4 x 100m relay squad. In the 2005 World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, he again triumphed over 2003 champion Kim Collins, capturing the gold medal in the 100 m.

On August 7, 2005, Gatlin clocked a 100m time of 9.88 seconds to win the World Championship in Helsinki. Starting as a favorite and with world record holder Asafa Powell not competing due to injury, Gatlin beat his competitors by the widest margin ever seen at a men's World Championship 100m to capture the Olympic-World Championship double.

Gatlin also won the 200m in Helsinki, becoming the second person in athletics history to win both sprint distances during a single World Championship (the first was Maurice Greene during the 1999 championships in Seville, the third – Tyson Gay during the 2007 championships in Osaka and the 4th - Usain Bolt during the 2009 championships in Berlin). In the 200m event, American athletes earned the top four places, the first time any country had done so in World Championship athletics history.

On May 12, 2006, Gatlin, running in the final of the IAAF Super Tour meeting in Doha, Qatar, equalled the 100m world record of 9.77s (set in 2005 by Jamaica's Asafa Powell), though this was later annulled. It had originally been reported that he had beaten the record, with a time of 9.76 seconds +1.7m/s wind. However, the IAAF revealed on May 16 that his time had been 9.766 seconds, which was subsequently rounded up to 9.77, in line with regulations.[4] Shortly thereafter, with the track and field community itching for a Gatlin-Powell showdown, the two both appeared at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon. No agreement could be reached with the meet organizers, however, so the two competed in separate heats, but Gatlin won the event with a time of 9.88 seconds over Powell's 9.93 seconds.

Gatlin pulled out of a meeting with Powell set for July 28, 2006 at the London Grand Prix.

Gatlin is currently living and training in Kissimmee, FL under coach Brooks Johnson. He is a regular competitor on Spike TV's show Pros vs Joes, which pits professional athletes against nonprofessionals.

On December 19, 2006 ESPN reported that Gatlin would work with Woodham High School's track team as a voluntary coach. He will help his old high school with "some workouts, sprint work, block work, where he sees something and can give encouragement."[5]

Doping bans[edit]

In 2001, Gatlin was banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for amphetamines. Gatlin appealed on the grounds that the positive test had been due to medication that he had been taking since his childhood, when he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. The appeal resulted in an early reinstatement by the IAAF.[6]

On July 29, 2006 Justin Gatlin told the media that he had been informed by the USADA that he had given a positive doping test in April the same year. He claimed his innocence in the matter:

"I cannot account for these results, because I have never knowingly used any banned substance or authorized anyone to administer such a substance to me."[7]

It is believed that the substance that Gatlin tested positive for was "testosterone or its precursor."[8] The failed test was revealed after a relay race on April 22, 2006 in Lawrence, Kansas. The "B" sample was confirmed as positive in July.

Gatlin was coached by Trevor Graham. Among athletes Graham has coached, eight have tested positive or received bans for performance-enhancing drugs.[9] After Gatlin's failed test, Graham stated in an interview that Gatlin had been sabotaged.[10] He blamed massage therapist Christopher Whetstine for rubbing a creme with testosterone onto Gatlin's buttocks without his knowledge. The therapist denied the claim, saying: "Trevor Graham is not speaking on behalf of Justin Gatlin and the story about me is not true."[11]

On August 22, 2006, Gatlin accepted an eight-year ban from track and field, avoiding a lifetime ban in exchange for his cooperation with the doping authorities, and because of the "exceptional circumstances" surrounding his first positive drug test. Gatlin appealed against the ban; an arbitration panel reduced it to four years at a hearing in December 2007.[12][13] His 9.77s performance, set in May 2006, was annulled.

Gatlin in 2009.

Possible NFL career[edit]

It was reported that Gatlin planned to serve his four-year ban from the track on a football field. On November 29, 2006 ESPN reported that Gatlin had worked out with the Houston Texans, although, he has little football experience and "has not played football since 10th grade".[14]

On May 4, 2007 The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that Gatlin was one of 28 free agents taken to their 2007 rookie camp on tryout contracts, and was considered to be the most intriguing unsigned athlete in attendance. He tried out for the team as a wide receiver. He was unsuccessful though he stated that he believed that he had all the necessary skills and that the only reason he did not make the team was because coaches viewed him as a "Track guy."[15][16]


Gatlin celebrating his win at the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

On August 3, 2010 Gatlin made his return to the athletics circuit after the four-year doping ban with a tour of Estonia and Finland. He won the 100 m in Rakvere, recording 10.24 seconds.[17] At the Ergo World Challenge meeting in Tallinn he improved further with a win in 10.17 seconds. His coach, Loren Seagrave, acknowledged that the sprinter's starts were poor, but that Gatlin's finish to the race remained strong.[18] Running at the final meet of the Finnish Elite Games series in Joensuu, Gatlin won in the absence of injured Steve Mullings.[19] In Rovereto, Italy, on August 31, 2010 Gatlin got second place with a 10.09 run behind Yohan Blake, who won in 10.06 seconds.

On June 25, 2011, in the 2011 USA Track & Field Championships, Gatlin placed second behind Walter Dix with a time of 9.95 seconds, a season's best and represented the United States at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he was eliminated in the semifinals. On the Japanese television show "Kasupe!" airing November 1, 2011, Gatlin ran a wind-aided 100 meter time of 9.45 seconds, the "aid" coming from a large wind machine blowing at speeds over 25 meters per second. Gatlin received 2 million yen (approximately $25,000) for appearing on the program.[20]

At the 2012 Diamond League meeting in Doha, Gatlin ran 9.87 seconds, defeating Asafa Powell by one hundredth of a second and putting himself as a favourite for a medal at the 2012 London Olympics. On June 24, 2012 Gatlin won the 100m final at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR with a personal best time of 9.80 seconds, the fastest time in history for a man over 30. On August 5, 2012 at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, he won bronze in the 100m final with a new personal best of 9.79 seconds, behind Usain Bolt, and Yohan Blake, who equalled his personal best of 9.75 seconds.

On June 6, 2013, Gatlin beat world record holder Usain Bolt by one-hundredth of a second and won the 100 meters at the Golden Gala meet in Rome, Italy.[21] On August 11, 2013, Gatlin won a silver medal behind Usain Bolt in the 100m at the IAAF World Championships in a time of 9.85. Bolt won the race in 9.77. Gatlin also took another silver in the 4x100m relay, crossing the line in 37.66 seconds, behind Jamaica who won in 37.36 seconds.

On September 5, 2014, Gatlin won the 100 metres at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels with a personal best of 9.77 seconds. He then went on to complete a sprint double at the meet, winning the 200 metres in a time of 19.71 seconds. This was the second fastest time of the season, behind his world lead of 19.68 he set at the Monaco Diamond League earlier in the year.[22] Gatlin's performances earned him a nomination for IAAF Athlete of the Year. Other athletes have responded sceptically to Gatlin, questioning whether he is continuing to benefit from the banned substances taken earlier in his career.[23] German discus champion Robert Harting requested to the IAAF that his nomination for Athlete of the Year be rescinded in protest at Gatlin being nominated.[24]

On May 15, 2015, Gatlin improved his personal best to 9.74 (+0.9m/s) at the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix.[25] The mark was the fastest in the world since Yohan Blake ran 9.69 in August 2012. It was the ninth best performance in history and improved Gatlin's standing as the fifth best performer of all time.[26] On June 5 2015, Gatlin beat Usain Bolt's 100 m Rome Diamond League record of 9.76 seconds set in 2012. Gatlin finished the 100m race in 9.75 seconds beating Bolt's record by 0.01.

On August 23, 2015, Gatlin finished second behind Usain Bolt in the final of the 100m at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing. Bolt's winning time was 9.79 seconds, with Gatlin 0.01 seconds behind. On August 27, 2015, Gatlin was again beaten by Bolt in the final of the 200m at the same event. Bolt's time was 19.55 seconds, with Gatlin coming second in a time of 19.74 seconds.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Justin Gatlin's profile at the IAAF site
  2. ^ "Justin Gatlin wins 200m in Monaco". BBC Sport. BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "USOC profile: Justin Gatlin". Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Gatlin’s time corrected to 9.77 – EQUALS 100m World Record". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  5. ^ "Gatlin will reportedly work with boys track team". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  6. ^ "The Best Ever World Juniors" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  7. ^ "Gatlin admits failing drugs test". BBC News. July 29, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  8. ^ "Sprinter Gatlin reveals failed drug test". Archived from the original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  9. ^ MacKay, Duncan (July 31, 2006). "Gatlin turns into the fastest falling hero in the world". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  10. ^ "Gatlin set up: coach". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  11. ^ "Gatlin masseur denies dope claim". BBC News. August 2, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  12. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/7922713/Justin-Gatlin-ends-four-year-drugs-ban-as-US-sprinter-makes-low-key-comeback-in-Estonia.html
  13. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/7167246.stm
  14. ^ "Gatlin, banned from track, works out for Texans". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  15. ^ Olympic medalist Gatlin at Buccaneers minicamp
  16. ^ "Ready to Compete". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  17. ^ "Justin Gatlin returns after doping ban with 100m win". BBC News. August 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  18. ^ Gatlin continues comeback with second win. Reuters. Retrieved on 2010-08-09.
  19. ^ Sonninen, A-P (2010-08-22). Spencer takes the Finnish Elite Games jackpot in Joensuu. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-08-24.
  20. ^ Kasupe!. Retrieved on 2011-11-1.
  21. ^ "Justin Gatlin edges Usain Bolt in 100". ESPN. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  22. ^ [1]. Retrieved on 2014-9-5.
  23. ^ Justin Gatlin: Dopers could benefit 'for decades', scientists find, BBC Sport
  24. ^ Justin Gatlin: Why US sprinter's success is bad for athletics, BBC Sport
  25. ^ http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-diamond-league/doha-diamond-league-5648/results/men/100-metres/final/result#resultheader
  26. ^ http://www.iaaf.org/records/toplists/sprints/100-metres/outdoor/men/senior

External links[edit]

Preceded by
No Award Given
Men's Track & Field ESPY Award
Succeeded by
Jeremy Wariner