Gatlin's glory fails to lift cloud of doubt

It used to be at the heart of the Olympics, that thrilling surge of power which brought the crowning of the 100 metres champion. But here on Sunday they were 9.85 seconds that left your head and your heart as quickly as they had entered.

It used to be at the heart of the Olympics, that thrilling surge of power which brought the crowning of the 100 metres champion. But here on Sunday they were 9.85 seconds that left your head and your heart as quickly as they had entered.

The glory of Jesse Owens running Nazi master-race theories into the ground in Berlin might have happened on another planet. In fact, it did. It was a place that existed before Ben Johnson carried us all to the stars and then dumped us in the dirt in Seoul 16 years ago.

Rightly or wrongly, Justin Gatlin, a 22-year-old New Yorker, is the heir of Johnson not Owens, of course, and if he is the victim of our cynicism he will just have to understand we are damaged too. He may claim, as defending champion and third-placed Maurice Greene did recently, that suspicion of drug abuse is a brush too freely used, but what are free-thinking adults expected to do?

Forget that Greene left at home in America training partners who tested positive? Or that Trevor Graham, Gatlin's coach, used to be in charge of the careers of Marion Jones, the former superwoman who competes here in the long jump under a mound of circumstantially damning evidence, and her boyfriend and father of her children, Tim Montgomery, the world record holder, who is another absentee following being charged with doping violations?

After Gatlin's victory, Graham announced proudly that he was the whistle-blower who sent to American investigators the syringe which blew open the Balco lab scandal that is dragging track and field into ever deepening disrepute. But then it is also true that leaked evidence from the Balco probe has also incriminated Graham.

These were some of the distracting realities in the wake of Gatlin's charge to gold. Another was that the Russian woman shot putter who won gold last week had tested positive - for the second time in her career.

Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. It is an unalienable right. But then so is scepticism and doubt and a sickening inability to believe what you see.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect