Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Following this morning’s statement from UKAD, it is only now that I have the opportunity to break my silence, give my reaction to the events of the last 14 months and to ask a few questions of my own. I welcome UKAD’s confirmation that no anti-doping charges are to be brought regarding the so-called ‘jiffy bag’ allegations. It has always neem the case that no such charges could be brought against me as no anti-doping violations took place. I am pleased that this has finally been confirmed publicly, but there are a large number of questions regarding the investigation which I feel remain unanswered.
Being accused of any doping indiscretion is the worst possible thing for any professional sportsperson, especially when it is without any solid factual basis and you know the allegation to be categorically untrue. I have kept my silence throughout this period to allow UKAD to conduct their investigation in the most professional way possible and so as not to undermine it. This is despite widespread and unfounded speculation in the press, being hounded on my doorstep and having commentators and professional riders wading in without knowing all the facts.
This period of time has been a living hell for me and my family, full of innuendo and speculation. At times, it has felt nothing less than a malicious witch hunt.
To say I am disappointed by some of the comments made by UKAD this morning is an understatement. No evidence exists to prove a case against me and in all other circumstances, this would be an unqualified finding of innocence.
The amount of time it has taken to come to today’s conclusion has caused some serious personal damage, especially as the investigation appears to be predicated on a news headline rather than any solid information. UKAD’s findings this morning have left me with a series of my own questions:
• Where did the information come from to launch the investigation?
• Who was the source?
• What exactly did that person say and to whom?
• Why did UKAD deem it appropriate to treat it as a credible allegation?
• Surely it is now in the public interest to reveal this source?
• Why has it taken so long for these conclusions to be drawn?
• How much taxpayers’ money has been spent so far on this investigation?
I want to make it plain and clear that I have done everything in my power to assist UKAD with their investigation. I was interviewed for over 90 minutes on November 28th 2016, and I also handed over to UKAD’s investigators all the relevant medical records available to me. I have not subsequently been contacted by UKAD to query anything I said or any information I provided. Nor have I been asked for any additional information.
During my career, like any other professional sportsperson, I relied heavily on the professional team around me, whether that be coaches, trainers or – more pertinently – medical practitioners. The medical documentation concerning my treatment was something absolutely out of my control. I put ultimate trust in the team around me to do their jobs in the specific field of expertise to the same standard I would expect of myself on the bike. Had the infrastructure for precise record keeping been in place, this investigation would never have started.
Much criticism has been made of Dr. Freeman. I have always felt, and still feel, that he is a very good physician and treated me and others with great care and respect.
For now, I would implore the media to give me and my family space, and respect our privacy. I plan on making no further public statement at this point, as I assess which legal options to pursue. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank those who have stood by me and my family while this dark cloud has been over us.
• This statement was originally published by Sir Bradley Wiggins via Twitter on 15 November 2017. The original tweet is below.
My say on the matter… pic.twitter.com/7MiSsFHtQE
— Brad Wiggins (@SirWiggo) November 15, 2017
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