By Louis Ritchie, Contributor 

Justin Gatlin went from an Elephant in the room, to a hard pill to swallow, among lots of athletic fans!  When Justin Gatlin, received a four year ban from Track & Field in 2006, it was supposed to end his sprinting career!  There’s no question that most any sprinter, that receives a four year ban or longer, at age (24) is supposed to disappear from the Track & Field scene for the rest of their life!

I was totally surprised, like most people around the sports world, when Gatlin, all of sudden, emerged on the track scene, in August of 2010 running the 100 meter dash in 10.24. But on August 31, 2010, Gatlin took second place, with a time of 10.09, behind Yohan Blake’s winning time of 10.06 at a track meet in Rovereto, Italy. 

It was at that time, I think Justin Gatlin, became the elephant in the room! Most Track & Field fans had their focus on Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay in the sprinting world. Generally speaking, people know what it’s like trying to ignore an elephant in the room. You know it’s there, but you wish it will go away!  But when Justin Gatlin, made the 2012 Olympics 100 meter finals, our focus, was still on Bolt, Blake, Gay, and Powell! And to be honest, track fans around the world, including lots of Americans didn’t want Gatlin to make the Olympic team, let alone, make the finals of the 100 meter dash! I believe that Justin Gatlin was still the elephant in the room, at the starting line of the Olympic 100 meter dash!

I remember how upset, some people were, when Gatlin, won the bronze medal, ahead of Tyson Gay, and Asafa Powell. Even when Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Justin Gatlin, stood on the victory stand, at the Olympics, people were still trying their best to ignore the elephant in the room, Justin Gatlin!  But when the 2014 track season rolled around, and Gatlin became the world’s fastest man, he’s no longer the elephant in the room,) but has advanced to a hard pill to swallow, among lots of sport fans! To prove the 2014 track and field season was no fluke, Gatlin, still holds the title, of the world fastest human in 2015 thus far! 

I’m sure most Track & Field fans from around the world, are hoping, and in some cases, praying, that Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, or even Tyson Gay, can dethrone, Gatlin, at the World Championships this year, and move him back to the elephant in the room, instead of a hard pill to swallow.!!

**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Louis Ritchie) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to,


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