Involved in yet another doping scandal

American sprinter Justin Gatlin, an Olympic gold medalist who has twice received doping bans, is being investigated by anti-doping authorities following a published report that said Gatlin and members of his immediate circle allegedly offered to supply banned substances to reporters posing as a film production crew.

The Telegraph report published Monday said the undercover reporters traveled to Gatlin’s Florida training camp and presented that they were making a film about athletics, and that they needed help training a male actor so he could get in shape.

According to the Telegraph report, Gatlin’s coach, Dennis Mitchell, and a sports agent named Robert Wagner “offered to supply and administer testosterone and human-growth hormone for an actor training for a film.” The report also said the drug products would come from an Austrian doctor. Wagner and Mitchell were secretly recorded stating that performance-enhancing drug use is still rampant in sports and they explained how athletes can avoid testing positive, according to the Telegraph report. Wagner also allegedly said that Gatlin had been using performance-enhancing drugs. Gatlin, according to the report, denied the claims in a statement and fired Mitchell, a former Olympic gold medalist.

“These allegations are very serious and strike at the heart of the integrity of athletics,” said Brett Clothier, the head of the Athletics Integrity Unit, an independent entity whose mission is to ensure clean sports competition. The AIU operates separately from the international governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The Telegraph report mirrors in some ways an Al-Jazeera documentary released two years ago, in which an athlete went undercover to expose alleged PED use in sports. That documentary, “The Dark Side,” featured secretly-recorded conversations with alleged dealers and, at least on one occasion, a professional baseball player admitting on camera to his use of banned substances.

“Investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers play a critical role in anti-doping efforts,” said USADA in a statement. “As with all investigations, we encourage individuals with information to come forward as an important tool to help protect clean athletes.”