Justin Gatlin: 'Where's the incentive for athletes to stay drug-free?'

Justin Gatlin: 'Athletes can't see the point in staying drug free when those who don't can compete'

Justin Gatlin was booed at the World Championships

Monday, August 7, 2017

The return of Justin Gatlin to top-level athletics removes the incentives for his fellow competitors to stay drug-free, says a former director of ethics and anti-doping at UK Sport.

Gatlin, who has twice been caught doping, has been allowed to return to competition and won the 100 metres final at the World Championships on Saturday - despite being roundly booed by the crowd at the London Stadium.

Michele Verroken, the founding director of sport consultancy business Sporting Integrity, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that athletes are looking at this "saying 'well what’s the point of me trying to stay drugs free if the outcome actually is that I could still end up in a World Championships?'

She added: "The only people I can see winning at the moment are the lawyers who can obviously get very involved in all these cases at some cost to somebody somewhere."

Verroken believes the rules on doping need to be simplified. The fundamental reason for putting any substance on the banned list, she said, is that is has  "an actual or potential performance benefit.

"What we do have to do is move away from this ridiculous situation where the list has two parts - in and out of competition."

Listen to the full interview above