Justin Gatlin on his way back to track fieldAfter the humiliating tag of a steroid smacker, Justin Gatlin was on his track. Facing a four-year ban after testing positive for steroid in April 2006, the 27-year-old sprinter is currently in the midst of the ban.

He said, “The track is home and this is where I belong.” About his steroid controversy, Gatlin told that he didn’t use steroids knowingly. He claimed that positive test was the result of a massage done with a steroid cream. The same claim was originally made by Gatlin’s former coach, Trevor Graham, who said that the sprinter was pulled aside for a massage moments before visiting doping control at the Kansas Relays.

It is to be reminded that Gatlin didn’t fight the penalty from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in August of that year. Earlier, he faced an eight-year ban for testing positive at the University of Tennessee for amphetamines found in Adderall, an attention deficit disorder drug. But that ban was cut to four years because of his claim that the test occurred as a result of medicine he took for the disorder.

Whatever the reasons behind the whole episode, one thing happened and that was a long gap for Gatlin. His suspension ban will end in July 2010 and he just focusing on his return to the pinnacle of the track world.

Gatlin further added that he helped the federal BALCO investigation in late 2006, secretly taping phone calls with Graham and testifying against his trainer in 2007.

“And I just turned around and did that stuff,” he says. “If I used steroids, you think I would do that?”

Still, such excuses ring hollow with those in the track community.

Gatlin knows there is one way to change such perceptions: When his suspension ends in July 2010, he must return to the pinnacle of the track world. He knows he’ll be closely watched, tested frequently by USADA, eyed warily by competitors. But if he can run the blistering times of his youth, he believes he’ll validate his past claims of innocence and secure his track legacy.

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