Nike slammed for handing sponsorship deal to Justin Gatlin

British athletes have taken to Twitter to criticise the American sprinter’s (pictured) latest deal with the American brand.

Gatlin, an Olympic 100m gold medallist, has been banned twice – the first time in 2001 after testing positive for amphetamines and then in 2006, when traces of testosterone were found in his sample, which resulted in Nike dropping him from its sponsored athlete roster.

Paula Radcliffe, who’s sponsored by Nike, wrote on Twitter: ‘I am very disappointed to hear this news.

‘I don’t believe it truly reflects the core values of the Nike that I am proud to represent, nor the integrity and the ideals of the people I work with on a daily basis.’

Olympic bronze medal winning heptathlete Kelly Sotherton took to social media to ask: ‘What inspiration does Justin Gatlin give up and coming athletes

‘Take drugs, get caught twice and sign a shoe contract?’

British 800m runner Jenny Meadows weighed in with: ‘Gatlin gets Nike deal having served two doping bans, when clean athletes lead world indoor rankings and have no funding or sponsorship! Justice?’

Former javelin world record holder Steve Backley wrote on Twitter that Nike: ‘had got this really wrong this time’, adding:

‘Athletics needs to reward the clean not the dirty – celebrating integrity, excellence, fairness and be inspirational.’

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