After a few years in obscurity, Steve Muliings has re-surfaced with a new book called “Banned for Life; The Steve Mullings Story”. Steve, a Jamaican sprinter was given a lifetime ban from the sports of Track and Field by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel in November 2011.
In 2004, Steve Mullings was sanctioned with a two doping control (methyltestoterone). In June 2011, Steve Mullings provided an in sample at the national Senior Championships in Jamaica which was tested at the WADA laboratory in Quebec, Canada, and Canada, and which returned an adverse the prohibited substance Furosemide. The Jamaican anti-doping proceedings against him which resulted in a decision to suspend him for life for a second anti doping rule violation.
Mullings appealed the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which upheld the lifetime banned decision. Steve had stayed out of the spotlight and had not given any interview to the media since his lifetime ban decision.
Mullings is now telling his story in his new book that traced his life from his early years growing up in Jamaica, to his rise through the ranks to become one of the world’s best sprinters, to his eventual lifetime ban. In a recent interview, Steve spoke about his new book:
How do you feel about your new book that is coming out in Mid-September?
Mullings: I feel great. I am just happy that I got a chance to get my story out there, so that people can understand what really happened. A lot of people don’t know what happened; they just follow what’s in the media. I hadn’t really step forward and tell people what really happen, so this is a good time to do it. Everything is all about timing and I think this is the right time to actually come out with this book called “Banned for Life; The Steve Mullings Story”
The title of the book “Banned for Life” seems to have a negative connotation. I know that is your status right now, are you ok with the title that you chose for this book?
Mullings: In a sense, yes; because no matter how I put it, until my name is cleared, “banned for life” is always going to be with me. So I chose it because every day I get up and I think about my whole career and what went down and everything that happened, I think that was the best name to come up with for this book.
What is your favorite section in the book?
Mullings: My favorite part is when my coach Steve Dudley (Mississippi State University) gave his side of the story. I think that helped a lot. He was with me when everything happened in 2004. He went through the hard times with me. And when they attacked Mississippi State [University] because of me he stood by me, no matter what.
Who would you want to acknowledge, who inspired you to want to put together a book like this?
Mullings: It takes hard work. I would say God, my mom, O’Neil [co-author]; I would say we worked well as a team to put together this book. Tyson Gay, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, my wife, my sisters, my brothers. Kenny [Gordon] and I always talk about coming out with a book, to tell your story. And Tyson [Gay] said the same thing; that I need to go and tell my story; I need to say something. People are going to question why I didn’t come forward and say something before now. So it’s kinda like I am not going to say that my country was fighting against me because that would seems like I was talking about everybody in Jamaica, but I am going to say the Federation and that included JADCO, did whatever they needed to do to stop me. I went all the way to CAS and they (JADCO) said that they weren’t backing down. So I just want my story to be out there for everybody to know what really happened.
So you just want your story to be out there and that’s what you are hoping to accomplish, so that others can learn from your mistakes?
Mullings: I wouldn’t say I made a mistake; the only mistake that I probably made was not going to my hearing, which was probably my biggest mistake. But I want people to learn [from my situation] so that nobody can sabotage them as they sabotaged me. You are going to have people taking good, you are going to have people talking bad about you. It doesn’t matter what you do in life. What I want to put out there is that when people hate you for no reason and want to put someone else in a position that you have earned then it becomes a situation of Jamaican versus Jamaican rather that Jamaica versus the rest of the world.
Looking back at your time of 9.80 seconds in the 100m, which makes you the eighth fastest man ever, how do you feel about that time?
Mullings: I feel great today. I was bitter two years ago, because I know how hard I worked to get to where I was and I can still feel the pain in my leg from all of the hard work outs that I did to run 9.80 [seconds]. I know that I could have won multiple medals at the 2011 World Championships. But I am over it. It makes no sense for me to hold them up in my heart. What is done is already done. And what I am trying to do is to just clear my name, move on and forgive them because I don’t think they know what they really did. Because all they wanted to do was to get somebody else in my spot and they accomplished that.
So all of this is highlighted in the book?
Mullings: Yes, everything is in the book. A lot of people are going to read this book. Some people are going to be sad; some people are going to say I am just making things up. But I can say that what’s in this book is a true story. There’s no need for me to lie.
O’Neil A. Reid, can be reached at email@example.com