Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has firmly dismissed suggestions he is consciously avoiding a showdown with American Justin Gatlin before August's World Athletics Championships.
Gatlin ran the seventh fastest 100m in history in Doha in May, after the drugs cheat completed six of the seven quickest times over the same distance in 2014.
While the Olympic bronze medallist from London 2012 has been dominating men's sprinting, Bolt has been typically understated in his preparations to defend his world title in Beijing.
The 28-year-old will compete in the 200m in the Diamond League meeting in New York this weekend and thus avoid a meeting with Gatlin's teammate Tyson Gay, but the Jamaican has laughed off suggestions he is purposely dodging the US contingent.
"Afraid? When people say that, I laugh," said Bolt. "I've been in the sport for years and I've never dodged anybody. When it matters, I've always showed up and shown that I'm the best.
"Gatlin has been doing a lot of talking, saying a lot of things. He's proved he's running fast times and he's ready. So it should be exciting going into the World Championships.
"I look forward to competing when people talk… because if you don't back it you look really stupid.
"I strive off the competition. I have 11-12 weeks until the World Championships. My focus is there, so I'll be ready to go.
"I'm not in the best shape and I'm not going to put myself out there if I know I'm just coming back. When I get to Beijing I'll be ready to go and that's when the showdown will be."
In 2006, Gaitlan was banned from competing for eight years, after tests showed banned performance enhancement substances in his system. However, the ban was cut to four years in 2007. At the time the athlete denied knowingly taking any banned substances.