Justin Gatlin Retires From Athletics
Justin Gatlin Retires From Athletics
Justin Gatlin, a sprinting legend for the United States, announced his retirement from athletics on Thursday, after a career marred by drug scandals that featured an Olympic gold medal and many world titles.
In an Instagram post headlined “Dear Track,” the 40-year-old veteran, who won gold in the 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics, confirmed his retirement.
“I have loved you track. You gave me tears of sadness and of joy, lessons learned that will never be forgotten,” Gatlin wrote.
“The torch is passed but the love will never fade. On your mark, get set … Gone!”
Gatlin’s retirement had been predicted for a long time. Last year, he tried to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics but injured his hamstring at the US trials in Eugene.
In 2005, he won the 100m and 200m sprint double at the World Championships in Helsinki, and in 2017, he won the 100m gold in the World Championships in London, edging out Jamaican legend Usain Bolt.
From the moment I knew running was a thing…
A thing that felt so right,
A thing that felt so free,
A thing that truly felt like me,
I have loved you,
From running around play grounds playing tag as a kid,
To burning down sidelines of youth football fields,
To racing the neighborhood kids on foot while they were on bikes.
My life changed the moment I knew your name …..Track
With love comes challenges, and you gave so many throughout my career.
Some that were easier than others.
And some that hurt more than life itself.
But through all my ups and downs,
Victories and losses,
I have loved you Track.
You gave me tears of sadness and of joy,
Lessons learned that will never be forgotten.
An unbreakable bond was made,
For 27 years of my life.
You’ve given me Courage.
You’ve given me Wisdom.
You’ve given me Peace;
And a way to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.
I’m grateful for our relationship and the many others that I’ve had along the way.
The torch is passed but the love will never fade.
On your mark, get set….Gone!
“Looking toward the future, I want to live a legacy that continues to inspire others. Turning one year older and shifting my energies into new career endeavors, I hope to continue to inspire those who have supported me throughout my whole career.” #bleedlovespitfire
He also competed in the gold-medal-winning 4x100m relay squad for the United States at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Gatlin’s career, however, was marred by controversy, and he was twice suspended for drug violations.
His first doping suspension, in 2001, stemmed from the use of Adderall, an amphetamine-containing stimulant. Gatlin has been using the medicine to treat attention deficit disorder since he was a toddler.
Gatlin was “definitely not a doper,” according to the US arbitration tribunal that heard his case.
The medal ceremony following his triumph at the London World Championships caused incredible scenes, with spectators booing the American and chanting the name of beaten competitor Bolt.
“It did hurt because I’m not there for myself,” Gatlin revealed.
“I’m up there for my country. I’m up there for my supporters. I didn’t do it for myself. Especially at the starting line, I wasn’t there for me.”
Even World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe could not hide his distaste for Gatlin’s victory in London, noting dryly that he was “not eulogistic at the thought of somebody who has served two bans in our sport walking off with one of the biggest prizes our sport has to offer.”
“I apologise for any wrongdoings I’ve brought onto the sport,” he said in 2017. “I love the sport…I have worked hard to right my wrongs.”