Also in the NY Times Article:
Max Siegel, the chief executive of USA Track & Field and the person who approves all coaching decisions, would not make himself available to discuss how coaches are chosen. But Jill Geer, a spokeswoman for the organization, said any coach in good standing with the United States Anti-Doping Agency was eligible â€œfor the privileges of the sport.â€
Geer got it right. Being named to coach a United States team is a privilege, not a right. Thatâ€™s what upset so many people in the sport about Mitchellâ€™s return.
Lauren Fleshman, a two-time national champion in the 5,000 meters, wrote on her blog that naming Mitchell as coach would be â€œlike putting someone who has formerly served time for fraud in charge of your bank,â€ arguing that â€œhe casts a shadow on USATF as a whole.â€
â€œI wish him a fantastic life, but I donâ€™t want him or his wife involved in my sport in any position of influence or leadership,â€ she added, referring to Mitchellâ€™s wife, Damu Cherry-Mitchell, a coach who also served a two-year doping ban in 2003.
Mitchell, who served his punishment, certainly has a right to work. He also has every right to collect payments from USA Track & Field for coaching athletes who receive stipends from USATF and choose to employ him.
But to lead the United States team at an international meet, as if the last 16 years never happened?
Maybe someday. But not yet. Redemption is too important to just happen overnight!!!!