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Professional Runner Ryan Bak Strongly Defends Chris Whetstine
By Ryan Bak
July 30, 2007

Editor's Note: We received the following email from Ryan Bak, a professional runner with prs of 13:38 5000m, 7:53 3000m, 3:43 1500m, and 4:01 mile. Bak currently lives in Eugene, Oregon. Bak references in the email below how we called for Gatlin to get a 2 year ban like other drug cheats because his first drug ban was for a prescription drug, and if you believe Gatlin's side of the story in the Washington Post he tried to rat out his coach Trevor Graham.

I was shocked to read the article that you linked to the top of the front page today about Justin Gatlin's case. The article is not shocking, with all of the similar articles in the past with lies and rubbish from Gatlin and Trevor Graham, however, what really shocked me was that you support this asshole.

I have come to know Chris Whetstine on a personal level. He is one of the greatest guys I know. He is passionate, dedicated, intelligent, and very talented in his work. Chris is a wonderful human being that has had his life turned upside down because of lies and physical damage that have been inflicted upon him. The only victim in this case is Chris. I don't know Justin Gatlin, nor do I ever want to meet him. He is following all of the exact lines that any drug cheat would follow. He chose to work with one of the dirtiest coaches in the industry in the first place. He may be very fast but he is a cheat, a liar, and a he is exactly what is wrong with the sport of track and field. Money and fame can change people and the desire to make more money and earn more notoriety can lead weak people down the wrong and tainted path.

Chris has been dealing with more pain that anyone should ever have to dream of dealing with due to the attack he sustained last year. He has suffered major head trauma and it has changed his life completely. He has been in and out of the hospital and cannot do the things he is most passionate about in life. This case has also taken a huge mental toll on Chris, one that has even landed him in the hospital as recently as this week. It pains me to see Chris in this state and I would never wish it upon my worst enemy to have someone go through what he is going through.

I wish you would please consider changing your words linked to the article on the frontpage of letsrun.com.

Editor's Note: We changed our headline a bit after receiving Bak's email. Plus it made us realize, how despicable Gatlin's situation is if he is lying about the drug situation, like most athletes whose cases make it to arbitration. If Gatlin knowingly doped, and now is lying about it and tarnishing the career of a massage therapist whom we have worked with, then he deserves no sympathy. We actually don't think he should get a 2 year ban if the arbitrators don't believe his story because then he like nearly all drug cheats had to compound it by being a liar.


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