Suspended American sprinter Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medalist and previous co-world record-holder (9.77 seconds), has appealed his four-year doping ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), his attorney said on Tuesday.Gatlin, who tested positive for testosterone - or its precursors - after having submitted to a drug test at the 2006 Kansas Relays, has vigorously fought the allegations that he committed an anti-doping offense, and stated the testosterone had likely entered his body without his knowledge and without his consent. His coach Trevor Graham has maintained that a disgruntled and bitter Nike employee rubbed a mysterious cream on Gatlin, and that triggered the positive test. The employee, Mark Whetstine, denied those allegations.Later, Graham speculated that he — not Gatlin — might have been the target because of anger in the track and field world surrounding his decision to send the syringe filled with steroids to USADA in 2003 sparked the fire which became the BALCO scandal. The federal investigation that Graham launched resulted in five criminal convictions and more than a dozen athlete suspensions. According to that theory, Graham's enemies wanted to take him down by implicating Gatlin, his star runner.Logic begs to inquire that if this were really the case, that Whetstine wanted to get back at Graham, why Whetstine simply didn't plant evidence on Graham's possession, in his vehicle or at his home, call the authorities and say that he had seen Graham take with him a prohibited substance. Graham would have been implicated and no one would ever doubt again that Graham had any connection to doping athletes.Instead, the world was spoon fed an incredulous story - which has gotten much more interesting and more detailed as time has gone along - about a pink coloured "s" swiggle, and a recollection that Gatlin told Graham to basically back off when the commotion started. You're first told by Graham that it was he who wanted to intercede, but the tube was quickly put away in Whetstine's pocket, and Graham didn't think anything more of it. Now it has changed and become more elaborate with Gatlin stating, "Let him do his job, man!"If one takes Graham's side, Whetstine did his job so effectively that he rubbed a compound into Gatlin which had Dehydroepiandrosterone, also known as DHEA, as its active ingredient — a substance which would without question cause a positive doping test.Something strange I would like to acknowledge here is that if Graham had any concern for Gatlin, who apparently went through every conceivable precaution as to not ever test positive (including locking his luggage, ordering room service when away), he would have stopped everything right then and there, and told Gatlin he was concerned with what had just occurred; he would have rushed Whetstine and forced his hand into the pocket. He didn't. What neatly disappeared in this version of Graham's story is the portion where Graham apparently told Whetstine that Gatlin didn't need a massage in the first place."All I saw was the massage therapist go into a bag and bring out something else," Walker said. "He rubbed something else on Justin. ... It was right there in front of me. It wasn't what he used on Shawn," is what the Washington Post revealed last year.The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has a strict liability anti-doping rule in place making anything found within the athlete's body their responsibility, originally banned Gatlin eight years for committing a second anti-doping offense. Gatlin was successful in having the original sanction reduced to four years after having cooperated with anti-doping recommendations that he provide his full support in leading to the source of the drugs — believed to be Graham.Gatlin first tested positive at the 2001 USA Junior Nationals for an amphetamine contained in an Attention Deficit Disorder medication he had been taking for 10 years. He was originally suspended for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which reinstated him one year later following appeals.The IAAF did not, however, word its ruling as such that Gatlin had not failed a drugs test, but had rather re-instated him despite the breach of rules in place; Gatlin had not intentionally doped, they stated, but had violated anti-doping rules by competing at a sanctioned event without having received (or even applied for) a Therapeutic Use Exemption, or TUE for short.Under the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA has mandated that all athletes with documented medical conditions request a TUE, and after having had such request appropriately dealt with by a panel of independent physicians called a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC), promptly receive either a grant or a decline of his/her application.WADA has the TUE rule in place in a concerted effort to ensure athletes do not experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method; the therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance; and there would be no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method.Gatlin had his medication, Adderall, listed with the University of Tennessee, where he was a student-athlete, but he failed to list the medication with USATF. He competed without having requested for the TUE, and was later stripped of his winning marks and places as a result of that rules violation.According to IAAF reports from 2001 following the first suspension, Gatlin harboured no resentment for having been banned a year: "I knew the right thing to do was accept the suspension," he said in May. "I just broke the rules, which were the rules. "It motivated me to do better this year. A lot of people can't back from something like that. It hurts them mentally and physically. I want to prove to everyone that I'm a strong person and that I have what it takes to be one of the best in the world."
"A sinister cabal of superior writers."