World champion sprinter Justin Gatlin says he is “shocked and surprised” at doping allegations made against his coach and an agent.
Athletics anti-doping officials have begun an investigation into what the president of the sport’s governing body called “serious allegations” about Dennis Mitchell and Robert Wagner.
The Daily Telegraph said Wagner – an agent linked to Gatlin – offered to “illicitly supply performance-enhancing drugs” to undercover reporters.
A video released by the Telegraph features a man the newspaper says is Wagner insinuating Gatlin is taking banned drugs, “just like every other sprinter in America”.
The paper also said Gatlin’s coach, former Olympic gold medallist Mitchell, told reporters that athletes are able to get away with doping because the drugs they use cannot be detected by tests.
Both deny the allegations.
Writing on Instagram today, Gatlin said he “fired” Mitchell “as soon as I found out about this”.
According to BBC Sports, the 35-year-old American said he is “not using and have not used” performance-enhancing drugs.
He added: “All legal options are on the table as I will not allow others to lie about me like this.”
The Telegraph said its journalists had posed as representatives of a film company wanting to make a sports film who were looking for a coach to train their star to look like an athlete.