Dennis Allen Mitchell is a former American college and international track and field athlete, whose team won the gold medal in the 4 x 100 meters relay race at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Mitchell was a top five sprinter during the early nighties, and represents everything wrong with athletics in that period. A cheat with an extensive drugs history, his only redeeming feature was a piece of creative genius; the moment came after a failed drugs test.
In 1998, Mitchell was banned by IAAF for two years after a test showed high levels of testosterone. Mitchell would later became embroiled in the BALCO Affair–a company which provided athletes with tetrahydrogestrinone (“the Clear”), a then-undetected, performance-enhancing steroid developed by chemist Patrick Arnold.
Athletes involved with BALCO:
- MLB players: Barry Bonds, Benito Santiago, Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios.
- Athletes: Hammer thrower John McEwen, shot putters Kevin Toth and C.J. Hunter, sprinters Dwain Chambers, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Raymond J. Smith, Zhanna Block and Kelli White, middle-distance runner Regina Jacobs.
- NFL players: A number from the Oakland Raiders, including Bill Romanowski, Tyrone Wheatley, Barrett Robbins, Chris Cooper and Dana Stubblefield.
Like those shown in the list, Mitchell is a cheat, and one senses his guilt extends far beyond the relatively minor charge filled against him. In 1998 the American sprinter was found with unusually high levels of testosterone in his system, and so the greatest excuse in doping history was conceived–literally.
He explained that he had had sex with his wife four times that day – “it was her birthday, the lady deserved a treat.” Hard to believe that anyone with a semblance of knowledge would believe him, but they did. The US authorities gave him the nod, unbelievably, and were willing to let it slide until the IAAF pointed out that, although testosterone levels can indeed rise after sex, not by that much.
How was this excuse even entertained for a moment? File the sex excuse in the “dog ate my homework” section.