Justin Gatlin
Justin Gatlin ran 9.74 seconds in Doha to record the fastest time of 2015Getty Images

If Justin Gatlin is indeed seeking exoneration for two doping offences within athletics, then the American athlete is arguably going about it the right way. The 33-year-old is once again the world's leading 100m runner after recording the ninth fastest time over the distance in history; quicker than anyone else since 2012, in Doha.

Gatlin may be unrepentant after serving two separate bans lasting five years [his two-year ban in 2011 was halved after a successful appeal to the IAAF] but he is letting his performances do the talking. Accepting forgiveness may not be the sports fans' forte but they do know a stellar sporting performance when they see one.

And setting tracks alight across the globe has been Gatlin's métier over the past two years. Six of the seven fastest 100m times belonged to the New York-born athlete in 2014, leading to his controversial nomination for the IAAF athlete of the year award. There was no doubting the merit of the recommendation even if the proposal was in bad taste.

That form was given added credence when Gatlin played a role in the victorious USA 4x100m relay team in Nassau, his first major title since being reinstated within the sport. In a team littered with formerly convicted dopers, victory still managed to reinforce Gatlin's return to athletics. Just.

The reality, however, is if Gatlin's efforts to earn a reprieve in the eyes of the sporting public are if not futile, they are certainly doomed to fail. If evidence that athletes that dope may continue to experience the benefit of banned substances long after their bans after expired will not trample Gatlin's spirit, then the relentless barrage of criticism from his peers could yet.

Nike steps in with a contract renewal

The awareness constantly raised by those within the sport means Gatlin's misdemeanours, and how he continues to benefit in spite of them particularly in the wake of Nike's renewal of his sponsorship contract, will never be forgotten. Furthermore, if Gatlin believes his showings on the Diamond League circuit have stirred brief grumbling of displeasure, his status as the favourite at August's World Athletics Championships will be accompanied by new levels of discontent.

Concerns will continue to remain over the legitimacy of Gatlin's performances. Overlook the doping bans and time away from the elite end of the sport, and producing such staggering improvements at 33 years old defies convention.

But without the hard evidence to clean athletics of Gatlin's prohibited behaviour, the authorities must again look hard at themselves. The continued desire to overlook the introduction of life bans for doping athletes in the first instance means the IAAF and Wada are cheating the sport and leaving fans with more questions than answers after each outstanding individual display. Have Michael Johnson, Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe all got it so wrong?

We therefore head to Beijing with the blue-ribbon event 12 months out from the Rio Olympics riddled in farce. That will take some forgiving.