Gatlin hopes Campbell-Brown not hastily judged
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Justin Gatlin realizes that to some his reputation will be forever tarnished by a positive test for excessive testosterone in 2006.
That's fine. He served his four-year suspension and no longer worries about critics.
The American sprinter hopes that judgment on Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown following her suspension for a positive test is reserved until everything is examined.
"When you see someone who has such a stellar pedigree like hers, from youth age to now, you have to sit and wait and watch what happens,'' said Gatlin, who will run in the first round of the 100 meters on Thursday at U.S. Championships. "I wish the best for her.''
Campbell-Brown, the reigning 200-meter world champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was suspended by Jamaica's national federation on Tuesday pending an investigation into a positive drug test. Jamaican officials said Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic at a meet on the island in May.
Campbell-Brown's manager, Claude Bryan, recently said the accusation came as a "shock to her,'' and the sprinter is determined to clear her name.
Gatlin has steadily regained his form since returning in July 2010 from his ban, capturing a bronze medal in London last summer. He maintained that his positive test back in 2006 was caused when a massage therapist rubbed a testosterone-like cream onto his legs.
"Not talking really about my case, but in general, I want the audience to understand that yes, there are people out there who are doping on purpose. And then you have athletes out there who are victims as well,'' Gatlin said. "It's a wide variety of things that can happen to an athlete that can lead them to be a victim.''
As for restoring his reputation, he said he's not focused on that.
"In track and field, one thing you learn is you're judged by your performance,'' Gatlin said. "No matter how often I say I'm innocent or not me, I have to go out here and perform. I knew I had to come back and run 9.7. I knew I had to come back and win a gold medal indoors. I knew I had to come back and make the Olympic team. These are things I had to do because those are things I did before anything happened to me in a negative light.
"I always have to remember that there's always going to be critics out there, always going to be haters that are going to look at me or anybody else like the Veronica situation in a negative light.''
LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION: Sanya Richards-Ross is used to cameras trailing her around the track.
But in her own home? Now that's been an adjustment.
Richards-Ross has her own reality show - "Sanya's Glam & Gold'' - set to debut July 25 on the WE television network. And while it may not be as provocative as, say, the Kardashian sisters, Richards-Ross promises the six hour-long shows will be entertaining. The series touches on her training, recovery from toe surgery, relationship with her husband, NFL football player Aaron Ross, and how she handles being business partners with her sister as they run a salon in Austin, Texas.
"The premise of the show is that I'm an Olympic champion, and I have that same standard off the track,'' said Richards-Ross, who captured gold in London last summer in her signature event, the 400. "I push family really hard to be the best, to be on this journey. It was really an awesome experience.''
Richards-Ross may not be running at full speed this week thanks to her stubborn toe. She underwent surgery in September to shave the bones in her right big toe, which had been rubbing together and causing increasing pain for more than five years. She was scheduled to return to training in two months.
Only, it's taken a lot longer.
"The good news is the last few weeks of practice have gone really well,'' she said. "I've come a long way. Now, I'm able to run on it. I've put spikes on a couple of times. I'm happy at least now there's light at end of tunnel.''
OF MERRITT: Lately, hurdler Aries Merritt has spent more time on a bike than in the starting blocks. It was the only way he could keep up his training.
Merritt, the world record holder in the 110-meter hurdles, has been dealing with a nagging right hamstring injury for quite a while. It started out as a cramp and turned into something more. He saw a specialist in Germany, who detected a tiny rupture in the hamstring.
"It's been a test of my patience,'' said Merritt, who set the world mark of 12.80 seconds a month after winning Olympic gold in London. "I've learned over the years you have to be patient for things to come full circle. I'm ready to hit it full tilt again.''