Less than two months after dethroning Usain Bolt by winning the 100 meters at the world championships, Justin Gatlin is opening his foundation with a sprint clinic for local youths Saturday in Staten Island.

Gatlin says he began his planning this off-the-track project in 2014. Then he developed more details while competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where he won the silver behind Bolt.

"I started getting the program together steadily," he says. "I went from there, and now 2017, after winning the gold, it just seemed like the right time to put things together."

Gatlin also won gold at the 2004 Olympics when he was 22. But a four-year suspension for doping, starting in 2006, damaged his public image. Since returning, Gatlin has been clean for seven years and won a bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

Although he says athletes are not politicians, Gatlin is inspired by the public voice of stars, such as Colin Kaepernick, who are helping to spread "peace and goodwill." That's the message behind the Justin Gatlin Foundation.

"I want to be able to approach the youth and show them the power that they do have," Gatlin says. "And as they become older and more refined in their sports, I want them to say, 'OK, I have a voice. I can be able to guide the future that comes after to me' to be able to say, 'Let's change not just certain aspects of sports and the mentality of sports, but the world around us.'"

Gatlin, who spent most of his childhood in Florida but was born in Brooklyn, will hold the clinic starting at 9 a.m. at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex.

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