Therapist denies charge from Gatlin's coach about testosterone

Thursday, August 3, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Oregon massage therapist who worked with Olympian Marion Jones and other elite athletes denied using a cream containing testosterone on sprinter Justin Gatlin.

Christopher Whetstine, who is under contract to Nike, was drawn into the Gatlin doping scandal by the sprinter's coach, Trevor Graham.

Gatlin faces a lifetime ban after failing a drug test in April following a track meet in Lawrence, Kan.

Graham has contended Gatlin tested positive after a vengeful massage therapist used testosterone cream on the runner without his knowledge. In an Italian newspaper, Graham identified the massage therapist as Whetstine, who has a private practice in Eugene.

"Trevor Graham is not speaking on behalf of Justin Gatlin, and the statement about me is not true," Whetstine said Wednesday in a statement read over the phone by his attorney, Elizabeth Baker. "I have fully cooperated with the investigation into this matter."

Baker said Whetstine denies using a banned substance on any athlete.

Gatlin, the co-world-record holder in the 100 meters, acknowledged last weekend that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed him of a test indicating he had used testosterone or other steroids after a relay race in Kansas in April. Gatlin has said he didn't know how steroids got into his system, and his attorney has distanced the runner from the comment by Graham, who has been involved with at least a half-dozen athletes who have received drug suspensions.

Whetstine's clients have included entertainer Sean "Diddy" Combs, golfer Ben Crane and three of Graham's athletes -- Jones, Gatlin and sprinter Shawn Crawford.

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