By Louis Ritchie
There have been lots of stones and rocks being thrown at Justin Gatlin, and Tyson Gay. I honestly think that some track fans feel like they should be locked up and the keys thrown away! My question to the Gatlin and Gay haters is; “for the sake of Track and Field, are you ever going to move on, and let my people go”?
The reason I say people, is there’s been so many athletes banned at one time or another for having illegal drugs in their system, so why do some track and field fans, continue to make Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin, the poster boys for illegal drug use? It’s got to the point now, that to me; it’s like beating a dead horse! I don’t care if an athlete had been banned for 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, or a lifetime, some fan’s continue to bring the sport of Track and Field down to new lows, with the constant badgering of certain athletes they don’t like, with the drug ban issue!
Some fans say Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay should be banned for life, like Steve Mullings. I really don’t understand why some people may get lifetime bans and other people only get 6 months or one year! The one thing I do know, is in most cases, there is a panel of judges that usually decides one’s fate when it comes to PED use, after the athletes pleads their cases. Maybe some athletes are better salesmen, than other athletes, and a panel of judges’ rulings are more favorable towards the athlete that tells the best lie or story!
I’m like most fans, I don’t sit on these panels, so I don’t totally understand the reason some people get off with a light sentence, like a 6 month ban and some get the hammer thrown at them with a lifetime ban! I do understand why you have to judge these athletes on a case by case basis and not have a lifetime ban on all athletes. Could you imagine, all the athletes that had a banned substance in their body, getting a lifetime ban? There would be no, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, (Fraser Pryce had taken a banned substance contained in pain medication for a tooth ache) Veronica Campbell Brown, Sherone Simpson, Merlene Ottey, Linford Christie, Marion Jones, Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis, (He had inadvertently taken a banned over the counter herbal remedy) Amantle Montsho, LaShawn Merritt, etc.
I know some athletes had their cases thrown out after originally being banned, by a panel of judges, but were the judges right? Maybe, or maybe not, I really don’t know, and to be honest with you, I don’t care anymore; I just want the sport of track and field to move on! Now, some people say no athlete should be performing better in their 30’s, unless they’re on some kind of drugs. Bottom line, nobody knows at what age an athlete will reach his or her peak! Marlene Ottey, ran her fastest time ever in the 200 meters (21.64) at age (31) and also clocked a (10.74) 100 meter at age 36 and would have won the 2012 Olympic over Allyson Felix’s time of (21.88)! Bernard Lagat, broke the American record in the 1500, 3000, and 5000 meters while he was in his 30’s. Linford Christie won the gold medal in the 100 meter dash, in the 1992 Olympic’s at the ripe old age of 32 and ran his personal best of 9.87 at the age of 33.
Veronica Campbell Brown at age 33 said in a recent interview, that her best days are ahead of her. Does that mean she plans to break her personal best of 21.74 in the 200 meters and 10.76 in the 100 meters, even though she’ll be 34 years old on May 15th of 2016? Until we can prove something, we’ll have to give all these athletes the benefit of the doubt.
**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Louis Ritchie) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, TrackAlerts.Com