American sprinter Justin Gatlin responded on Saturday to critical comments from swimmer Lilly King regarding Olympic doping.
King has been outspoken in her stance against athletes with past doping penalties after beating Russian Yulia Efemova in the 100 meter breaststroke in these Olympics. She doubled down earlier this week when asked specifically about Gatlin, saying she doesn’t believe athletes who have been penalized should be allowed to compete.
Gatlin, 34, has been banned from competition twice for doping, a two-year suspension in 2001 and a four-year suspension in 2006. He was also banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from 2013 to 2014.
“I don’t even know who Lilly King is,” Gatlin told reporters when asked about her comments on Saturday. “She does swimming, not track and field, so I’m not worried about that.”
Gatlin, who won gold in the 100 meter dash in Athens, ran well in the event’s heats on Saturday, finishing with the day’s best time at 10.01 seconds.
“I have confidence in my policies that I’m with,” Gatlin said. “I have come back and done what I need to do. I have worked hard just like everybody else, and I get tested like everybody else, and I am back here. I believe in the system.”