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David Jenkins

Jenkins in 2015
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich 4 × 400 m relay
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1971 Helsinki 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1974 Rome 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1974 Rome 400 m
European Cup
Gold medal – first place 1975 Nice 400 m
Gold medal – first place 1975 Nice 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1973 Edinburgh 400 m
Bronze medal – third place 1973 Edinburgh 4 × 400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1973 Moscow 4 × 400 m relay
Bronze medal – third place 1973 Moscow 400 m
Representing  Scotland
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1978 Edmonton 4 × 100 m relay

David Andrew Jenkins (born 25 May 1952) is a former World ranked no.1[1] 400m track and field sprinter who also ran other sprint distances. He is, statistically, the highest ranking Scottish sprinter in history, above 1980 Olympic 100m champion Allan Wells.[2] He was part of the UK relay team which won a silver medal at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. Anabolic steroids were banned from athletics in 1976,[3] and Jenkins has said that he began using steroids around then; although his times slowed from this point due in part to his increased propensity for injury.[4] He was a finalist in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics 400m. He received a 7-year prison sentence in the 1980s for drug smuggling, but was able to serve a reduced period of 10-1/2 months by becoming an informant. Jenkins has subsequently had a business career in the United States. He is the brother of Roger Jenkins, also formerly an international athlete, who became one of the UK's highest paid bankers.

Early life and education

Born in Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago, British West Indies, Jenkins was the son of an oil refinery manager.

Jenkins was educated at Edinburgh Academy, where he excelled at sport. From 1970 to 1973 he attended the University of Edinburgh (1970–1973) where, as a British Petroleum industrial apprentice. He earned a BSc in chemical engineering.[1] He then went on to study at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he received a postgraduate diploma in business management and marketing (1974).[5]

In 1976, Jenkins was awarded a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trusts. His project's title was "Community sport participation and provision", and the fellowship enabled him to visit the United States and West Germany.[5]

Jenkins was, for a few years in early 2000s, the U.S. representative for The Edinburgh Academy's Academical Club.[6]

Athletics career

Jenkins' first coach was Jake Young, then head of physical education at the Edinburgh Academy. In his youth, Jenkins was the European record holder at 400-metres for under 17 and under 19 years old. In 1969 he represented Great Britain's senior open team in Hamburg, West Germany, winning the 400-metres aged 17 years four months.[7] Jenkins' international athletic career spanned three decades, 1969 through 1982 starting on cinder tracks, to synthetic tracks from hand timing to electronic timing.

From 1970 to 1973 and again in 1980 Jenkins was coached by the then Scottish National Coach, John Anderson. He started off as Scottish 100/200/400 champion, followed by his first of 6 AAA's 400 metre titles. Also in 1971, still aged only nineteen, Jenkins won the 400 metres at the 1971 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, the youngest British male athlete yet to win a European gold medal.

He went on to compete for Great Britain in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany in the 4 x 400-metre relay where he won the silver medal with his teammates Martin Reynolds, Alan Pascoe and David Hemery. From 1973 to 1977 Hemery, a contemporary and 1968 Olympic hurdles champion, coached Jenkins.[8]</ref>[9]

In 1974 he won the silver medal on the 400 metres at the European Athletics Championships in Rome as well as the gold medal in the 4x 400-metre with his teammates Glen Cohen, William Hartley and Alan Pascoe. The race announcer remarked that Jenkins had the "greatest run of his life", when he won the 4 × 400 m relay.[10]

In 1975 he was United States of America 400-metre champion, with his fastest time of his career 44.93 which was a British record at the time.[11] In 1975, Jenkins and his brother, Roger Jenkins, represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland v. Finland at Crystal Palace, London as the UK's No. 1 and No. 2 400-metre runners.[12]

Both David and his brother Roger feature prominently in the book A Life In A Day In A Year[13] by Peter Hoffmann which describes their athletics training at Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh and their racing careers between 1973 and 1978.[14]

Scottish documentary company, Pelicula Films, featured David Jenkins during his training in 1975 as he prepared for the 1976 Olympic Games (Montreal, Quebec, CA). The film, The Long Sprint: Diary of an Olympic Athlete, follows Jenkins from his training, races and the Olympic Games heats. Jenkins qualified for the Olympic 400-metre finals but did not win a medal. The documentary film was directed by Michael Alexander and won the Gold Grand Prix Award in the British International Sport Film and Television Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and the Turin Film Festival in 1977.[15][16]

In 1976 and 1980 Jenkins finished seventh in the 400-metre final at the Summer Olympics. In 1977 he participated in the first IAAF World Cup in the 4×400-metre relay at the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, West Germany. He also won the 200 metres at the Jubilee Games event. In 1978 he won a gold medal competing for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada in the 4 × 100 m relay, alongside Cameron Sharp, Allan Wells and Drew McMaster. In 1980 he was U.K 400-metre champion.

He competed at the 1982 European Championships in the 4×400–metre relay team which won the silver medal in this event.[17]

He later admitted to having taken performance-enhancing steroids during the latter part his athletics career, from around 1976.

In 1998 former British 400-metre Olympic silver medallist Roger Black dedicated a chapter titled "The Jenkins Factor", in his autobiography How Long is the Course ISBN 0-233-99644-3 to Jenkins who was helping advise him in the final months of his 1996 Olympic preparation. Jenkins was credited with changing Black's philosophy on sports and competition.[18]

Personal bests

Drug smuggling conviction

Jenkins claimed that during his career he felt pressure to uphold high competitive standards, leading to his use of anabolic steroids. He said "It was the beginning of selling my soul, really."[19]

In January 1986 Jenkins met with Juan Javier Macklis, who owned Laboratorios Milanos, a pharmaceutical plant in Tijuana, Mexico, that was contracted to supply medicines for the Mexican government. Together, Jenkins and Macklis manufactured anabolic steroids. With the help of Macklis' trusted colleagues, Jenkins then smuggled the drugs into the United States, which at the time was a felony. However, there was no precedent for a smuggling case of this magnitude, not to mention anabolic steroids had yet to be codified under the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S.[20][21] A federal indictment filed in the U.S. Federal Courts in San Diego named Jenkins as the mastermind of a complex network of more than 33 steroid-dealing co-conspirators. In April 1987, weeks before federal prosecutors filed the indictment, Jenkins was arrested and later entered a guilty plea for the trafficking of steroids worth approximately $100 million through the Tijuana border crossing. It was reported that at one time Jenkins and co-conspirators Dan Duchaine and William Dillon were responsible for up to 70% of the steroids trafficked in the United States.[8]

Jenkins was sentenced by Judge J. Lawrence Irving in US District Court San Diego to seven years in the Boron Federal Prison Camp in California's Mojave Desert. British newspaper The Independent reported that Jenkins became an informant and was thus able to be released after serving only 10 months and 15 days.[22][1][23]

Admitting he "screwed up" by getting involved in the steroid-smuggling operation, while out on bail Jenkins became involved in a legal fitness enterprise.[19] Referring to David Hemery, the gold medal winner of the 400 metres hurdles at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Jenkins told The Independent that "I sold him down the river, and that wasn't cool."

Business career

During the late 1970s Jenkins began his commercial career as the sales director at Reebok International in Bolton Lancashire, England. There he was involved in product development and testing. In addition, in the late 1970s he met with and visited Paul Fireman, head of a US sporting goods distributor, in Boston introducing him to Reebok and helping establish the then embryonic brand in the United States.[24]

In 1988, Jenkins started his nutrition company and began working on a protein powder, convinced that its muscle-building properties could be marketed as a healthy, legal alternative to steroids.[25] This is when he created and launched Pro Optibol.

Combining his engineering degree and manufacturing knowledge with his passion for sports, Jenkins went to work developing whey-based powders.[26]

NEXT Proteins

Jenkins is self-employed and an inventor within the United States sports nutrition industry and is an international multi-patent holder.[27][28]

Jenkins founded and incorporated NEXT Nutrition, based in Carlsbad, California, in 1988.

In 1993 he set up a partnership with Dan Duchaine, a well known steroid guru and two-time convicted felon, and founded Next Proteins, a company which produced dietary supplements for athletes and bodybuilders. When Duchaine died Jenkins became the chairman of Next Nutrition.[29][7]

Next Proteins, Inc. is the owner of the world's first carbonated protein drinks patents, issued in 41 countries.[30][31][32][33][34][35]

In September 2006 NEXT Proteins sold its protein bar business and factory in Minden, Nevada to Forward Foods.[28]

In April 2011 Jenkins sold the Designer Whey business including the protein powders, bars and shakes business to Designer Protein, LLC., a subsidiary of Athena Wellness Brands, LLC.[27]


Jenkins founded Xipe Press in 1996 and published the book Underground Bodyopus: Militant Weight Loss and Recomposition. The book was authored by two-time convicted felon Dan Duchaine.[36] Duchaine, the self-styled "Steroid Guru" was an outspoken proponent of the use of drugs in sport and was credited with popularising the use of such illegal substances as GHB (4-Hydroxybutanoic acid) and Clenbuterol in American sport. After Duchaine's death Jenkins became CEO of DuChaine's drug supplement company and is the source of Jenkins' wealth today.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Mike Rowbottom. Drugs in sport: The former cheat who prospered, The Independent, 14 December 1998
  2. ^ "60 Years of Rankings – Arnold Black looks back at sprints". Scottish Athletics. 5 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Story of Anti-Doping". UK Anti-Doping. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ "From gold and silver to drugs and jail David Jenkins never ran from fate". The Scotsman. 9 July 2012.
  5. ^ a b David Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, designer whey[permanent dead link]. Spoke. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  6. ^ The edinburgh academical club online Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b Alessandro Donati: World Traffic in Doping Substances Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. WADA, February 2007, p. 30, (Pdf, 542 KB)
  8. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "David Jenkins". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  9. ^ 1977 Jubilee Games mens 200m on YouTube
  10. ^ 1974 European Championships 4x400m relay on YouTube
  11. ^ British 400 Men Overall All Time to 46.99. Power of 10. Retrieved on 7 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b Ron Pickering "Athletics 75: A Birds Eye Yearbook"
  13. ^ Hoffmann, Peter (6 August 2017). A Life in a Day in a Year: A Postcard from Meadowbank, 1973-1978. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1973962663.
  14. ^ "Meadowbank is the stadium of dreams for Peter Hoffman". The Scotsman. 3 September 2017.
  15. ^ Michael Alexander. LONG SPRINT: Diary of an Olympic Athlete. Pelicula Film, 1975
  16. ^ Business Search – Business Entities – Business Programs Archived 2 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  17. ^ 1982 European Championships 4x400m relay - men on YouTube
  18. ^ Roger Black. "How Long is the Course?" Andre Deutsch Publishing, 1 April 1998.
  19. ^ a b Jonathan Eig. "Olympic Runner Goes for Protein Gold --- Snack Chip Gives Athlete Lead Over Food Giants and Helps Redeem Tarnished Career" The Wall Street Journal, 27 March 2000
  20. ^ United States Congress (1989). Legislation to Amend the Controlled Substances Act (Anabolic Steroids). United States Congress Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved 25 March 2020 – via Hathitrust Digital Library.
  21. ^ Eisendrath, John (24 April 1988). "Confessions of a Steroid Smuggler : When the Quest for Big Muscles Turns Into a Passion for Big Money". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  22. ^ McLaughlin, Mark (26 February 2009). "Illegal steroids:Shamed Olympian was brains behind smuggling operation". Edinburgh Evening News. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009.
  23. ^ "LONG SPRINT: Diary of an Olympic Athlete". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  24. ^[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Duncan Mackay (3 February 2002). "Sportsmen who went to jail". The Observer.
  26. ^ Cram, Steve (14 January 2008). "Jenkins shows Jones that cheats can prosper". The Guardian.
  27. ^ a b "Partnership Capital Growth Facilitates NEXT Proteins Deal" (Press release). BevNET. 26 April 2011.
  28. ^ a b "Forward Foods Acquires Detour Protein Bars". 1 November 2006.
  29. ^ "Business Search - Business Entities - Business Programs". Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  30. ^ United States Patent: 7799363
  31. ^ United States Patent: 7794770
  32. ^ United States Patent: 7842326
  33. ^ United States Patent: 7897192
  34. ^ United States Patent: 7906160
  35. ^ United States Patent: 7205018
  36. ^ Daniel Duchaine (1996). Underground Bodyopus: Militant Weight Loss and Recomposition. XIPE Press. ISBN 0-9653107-0-1.