American sprint legend rallies behind wunderkind Issam Asinga amid doping ban

American sprint legend rallies behind wunderkind Issam Asinga amid doping ban

Abigael Wafula 20:27 - 04.06.2024

American sprint icon Justin Gatlin is rallying behind 19-year-old Issam Asinga following his four-year doping ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

Four-time world champion Justin Gatlin is rallying behind Suniram athlete Issam Asinga following his doping ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The AIU provisionally suspended Asinga on August 9 last year, following a positive test on his urine sample which found a substance on the WADA prohibitive list.

He has since been slapped with a four-year doping ban but he has plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In a statement, Asinga insisted that he has always been committed to the integrity of my sport.

In a statement released to the public, Asinga said: “Sadly, in 2023 while I was still a high school senior, Pepsico gave me a Gatorade gift package which contained Gatorade Recovery Gummies, displaying the industry-approved NSF Certified for Sport logo.

“The containers given to me were later tested at a WADA-accredited laboratory which identified that the product given to me was contaminated with GW1516, the same substance I tested positive for in trace amounts.”

Speaking on his podcast, Ready Se Go, Gatlin urged the youngster to keep his head high and called upon the company that sold the Gummies to Asinga to come out and set the record straight.

He noted that the move to ban the youngster would ruin his career and force him to wait for longer in order to achieve his targets. The American legend also explained that coming back to the sport after being banned is something different since people will view him differently.

Gatlin also pointed out that he was just coming up and his career was taking shape and having to gain the trust of sponsors after more than four years of being out will certainly be an uphill task.

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“I think it should be recognized as a case-by-case situation. Reading what Issam Asinga put out on his IG page on social media, he did and how it was something that was in a Gatorade gummy chewable that has now been discontinued, ironically.

“Pepsico doesn’t want to relinquish any of the samples out of that lot number. They don’t want to be able to give the information or either give a sample to show, hey, this guy might be telling the truth.

“You’ll be potentially saving a young kid’s life…let’s be honest, four years, and I’m coming for my first perspective of it. How I’ve been through it, it’s more than four years because what’s going to happen is you’re going to comeback to a sport that doesn’t want you.

“You’re not going to get a contract right of the bat so now you haven’t made money for almost half a decade, like how are you going to pay your bills? How are you going to live? How are you going to get food?

“Now you are stunting the growth of this young man where I feel like it should have been extra care taken too figure out exactly what has happened in this situation,” the former Olympic champion said.