Justin Gatlin’s return to the elite class of athletes has been a rocky and testing time for the American sprinter, his resurrection has proved that rising from adversity is an achievable feat. Gatlin was once banned from athletics for four years after testing positive for a banned substance in 2006.
Banned athletes rarely return to their best given the scrutiny they face from the media and their fans, some are even stripped of their titles while other lose their endorsement deals. Gatlin has faced all the above mentioned obstacles and has staked his claim as the best 100m athlete this year. He is the current world leader in the 100m and 200m race categories and has been nominated for the IAAF Athlete of the Year award.
Gatlin is aged 32, most athletes in his age region are always perceived to be reaching the tail end of their careers but the American has defied the odds to outshine other athletes who are at the peak of their careers.
He returned to athletics in 2010 and he has been a force to be reckoned with since his return. Gatlin was suspended for testing positive for using a testosterone supplement. He was initially scheduled to face an eight year suspension but his suspension was reduced to four years.
Many people have written off Amantle Montsho due to her suspension and the notion that her best years could be behind her. The former women’s 400m world champion has been suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, methylhexaneamine.
The 31 year old athlete is still awaiting sanctions from the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), she is expected to face a possible two year ban. Her possible return could be the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she will be 33 years old when she returns. Gatlin’s success in his early 30’s proves that it is never too late to make a comeback in the sporting world.
Both athletes have one thing in common; they both claim to have taken the banned substances without the aim of enhancing their athletic performances. In their separate cases both athletes protested their innocence by stating that they had no knowledge of the banned substances they were ingesting. Gatlin’s rise from adversity should serve as an inspiration to Montsho as she aims to return to athletics.