We caught up with Eric Jenkins at the USATF 5k champs today. He had a lot of interesting things to say including about how he'll be returning to Portland next year to train for the Olympic trials. However, the most headline-worthy comments came in regards to the NOP. You can listen to the whole interview here:
Jenkins said the ban hasn’t had many practical effects on him. “It’s kind of weird to say that it hasn’t affected me too much other than my name getting dragged through the mud and I understand why [that has happened].”
“Of course I’m sad about that (my name being tarnished), but I understand why and I understand I put myself in that situation. I’m not confused about that. It’s not true where the sense everyone is doing it [something illegal],” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said when he joined the NOP the BBC/ Pro Publica allegations were known and “Alberto did say these are just allegations and nothing will come of it.”
Despite something coming of it, Jenkins said he is not angry at Alberto. “I’m not mad at him. He was nice to me,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins however fully understands why Alberto got banned. “He got banned, so clearly a lot of people thought he did something wrong… If they banned him they must have had some serious stuff,” Jenkins said. “One of the things that has been thrown around a lot is this grey area and maybe it’s not cheating… you’re getting into some weird morality issues with things in this area and I totally understand why he’d get banned.”
Jenkins added, “I’m sure if you ask Alberto [he’d say ] there is no such thing as a grey area, there is right or wrong.” Jenkins was not trying to imply that Alberto was on the right side of the line. “Alberto pushed the line and clearly he pushed it too far,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins stressed he had seen nothing suspicious in the group and had done nothing he felt was in the grey area. “I’ve never been asked to take any supplements by Alberto or Pete. I’ve never seen anything suspicious in the group,” he said.