Justin Gatlin apologizes for any wrongdoings that he's brought upon track and field.

By Chris Chavez
August 22, 2017

U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin, the newly-minuted 100 meter world champion, issued an on-camera apology for doping for the first time in his career.

Gatlin has served two suspensions in his career. In 2001, Gatlin tested positive for amphetamines due to Ritalin that he had been taking since early childhood for ADD/ADHD. He was suspended for two years but it was shortened to one year as the International Association of Athletics Federation (track and field's governing body) ruled it was unintentional. His second suspension came in 2006 when he tested positive for testosterone and was slapped with an eight-year ban. Gatlin claimed that he was sabotaged by a message therapist. The suspension was shortened to four years after he cooperated with a USADA investigation into his former coach, Trevor Graham, who was suspended for life. Gatlin returned to competition in 2010.

Gatlin competed at the 2012 Olympics in London and won a silver medal but didn't run any spectacular times. He started getting backlash for his two suspensions when he set personal bests in 2015 at the age of 33. His fast times made him a strong challenger to dethrone Usain Bolt in the 100 meters and 200 meters at the 2015 world championships but he underperformed in the final and settled for silver in both events behind the Jamaican star.

The crowd at the London Olympic Stadium was relentless with its boos at Gatlin throughout this summer's world championships. When he defeated Bolt in the 100 meter final, he raised his hand to his lips to silence the crowd as he celebrated.

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"If they want an official apology, I'm sorry," Gatlin says. "I'm sorry. I apologize for any wrongdoings or any black eyes I've brought onto the sport. I love the sport and that's why I've come back and run and try to the best of my abilities. I have worked hard to right my wrongs."

Watch Gatlin's apology below:

Gatlin did apologize to the IAAF in 2010 with a letter to then-president Lamine Diack. In the letter, he said that he had "great remorse" for the mistakes he made and was committed to promoting a clean sport. The letters were released to The Guardian.

In 2015, he was standing on the podium when his mother was heckled by a fan.  Gatlin's family was also in attendance at the world championships in London as he was booed.

"I'm not a bad guy but I look at my family and what they had to go through to be able to sit those stands and watch their child being booed not by people from afar but people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder next to them," Gatlin says. "It makes me sad."

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