Justin Gatlin: '9 Seconds' — World's 100M Super Villain?

Justin Gatlin to play the villain at the Rio Olympics? Right now, Justin holds the fastest prelim time, and the world doesn't seem to like it.

The public has a serious problem with playing "judge and jury."

It's obvious that Justin Gatlin has changed into something much greater and faster than he was before his suspension.

Take advice from Frozen's Elsa.

"Let it go."

Gatlin is no villain, especially not for a minor supplement infraction from over a decade ago.

According to Pensacola News Journal, as concerns Justin Gatlin, "doping" has made him the villain in the world's eye. Yet, this is a charge from 2006, as reports People.

Do you understand how much change happens within 10 years?

Look at this.

Even the commentator mentions that Justin Gatlin "doesn't get the credit he deserves."

Justin is 34 years of age. Right now, he's the oldest U.S. sprinting competitor since 1912, notes Pensacola News Journal.

If you're not willing to "let it go" and accept change, supposedly you're the same weight you were a decade ago? Your eating and exercise habits haven't changed, right? You can still fit into those pants you bought in college or high school?

Get over yourselves.

Justin is faster. Mr. Gatlin is more driven. He's a refurbished machine with all new parts, so to speak.

Think about it.

At 34, Gatlin has made the U.S. Olympic team again. That means that Justin surpassed the abilities of younger competitors time and time again during tryouts.

The source notes that one of his old coaches, Paul Bryan, would see Justin training after the suspension — even praying.

"He would say, 'Lord let me get back. Give me the opportunity to do it again.' Well, he was given the opportunity and he has not taken it lightly. He is on a mission."
But, what about his past?

Well, what about your past? Everyone has one.

Presently, do you want anyone holding your past in front of your face? It's possible that you're a better person, correct?

According to the source, Justin Gatlin hadn't used any "banned substances" while undergoing a program with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Usually, those who are charged with using illegal substances don't bounce back.

However, that's not Justin Gatlin. This particular sprinter cleaned up his act quickly — even petitioning that his eight-year suspension be reduced to four, says the source.

During Rio interviews, Gatlin mentions the following statements regarding the doping and villain accusations.
"At the end of the day, the time has been served. I've served that time. I've dealt with that punishment. I've moved forward.

"I've worked hard, all the way from the bottom when I had nothing. I worked hard to work back to where I'm at now. I don't understand. The system has worked. I think people need to stop looking at trying to be the judge, the jury and executioner and let the system do its job."

Nine seconds.

Paul Lawrence, Justin's high school teammate and close friend, mentions that Gatlin has nine seconds to put all his training to application.

When you think about it from that perspective, it brings new respect to the race. Does it not?

"You have four years for nine seconds," says Justin's friend. "If you jump the gun, you're out. One false move, you're out...your body tightens, you are out. You train four years for nine seconds."

And, for Gatlin to make such a tremendous comeback — especially after hitting his lowest point, is a huge accomplishment for any athlete.

Although the following video was recorded years ago, Justin Gatlin shows that he's not a force to take lightly.

While fans were used, these alone couldn't blow Gatlin down the track in 9.45 seconds.

Justin Gatlin might be labeled a villain. However, such a label will only make his victory more triumphant.

"Villain" Justin had to wean himself off performance enhancers and reteach his muscles to go without the additives, yes?

And years later, without "banned substances," he's currently holding the fastest preliminary time — at age 34.

Unless there's an Olympic-wide conspiracy to which Gatlin is amiss, it's no coincidence. It's hard work and dedication.

Sure, Usain Bolt is obviously the favorite in the match-up. Likewise, Justin Gatlin appears to be the favorite villain.

But, will these labels matter at all if they both reach the finals?

What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

[Photo by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]