Sprinter Tyson Gay says he should not be described as a drugs cheat.
The American, 32, served a one-year ban after failing a drug test in 2013.
He is set to face Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell, who have both also failed drug tests, in the men’s 100m at the Diamond League in Lausanne on Thursday.
“When you put key words or a syringe by somebody’s name, it manipulates someone’s mind to believe you intentionally tried to do something and get away with it,” said Gay.
“That wasn’t the case. If I would have made a decision to intentionally do something to hurt the sport I wouldn’t have come back.”
Six-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt, who will miss Thursday’s race in Lausanne because of injury, said in April that Gay should have been banned for life.
Gay, the joint second-fastest man ever over 100m and a former 100m and 200m world champion, was suspended after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid.
Fastest 100m runs of 2015
|9.74 secs – Justin Gatlin (US)|
|9.81 secs – Asafa Powell (Jam)|
|9.84 secs – Trayvon Bromell (US)|
|9.86 secs – Keston Bledman (Tri)|
|9.86 secs – Jimmy Vicaut (Fra)|
He reportedly admitted using a cream containing testosterone and human growth hormone and was banned for one year, rather than the usual two, after providing the United States Anti-Doping Agency with evidence that allowed it to ban his former coach, Jon Drummond, for eight years.
Gay said he had put his “trust in someone and was let down”.
Speaking to the BBC’s World Service, he said: “If I could do everything all over again, I definitely would.
“A lot of people don’t realise that until I tell them the details, and they are shocked that it was something so small.”
His 33-year-old compatriot Gatlin, who has served two doping bans,has run the fastest 100m of the year – 9.74 seconds
Jamaican Powell, 32, who served a six-month ban after failing a drugs test in 2013, ran his season’s best 9.81 at the Diamond League in Paris on Saturday.
US sprinter Mike Rodgers, who was banned for nine months after testing positive for a banned stimulant, will also be competing in Lausanne.
“You answer to yourself,” said Gay, who returned last summer and ran 9.87 to become US champion last month.
“Everyone’s situation is different. I can’t be in everybody else’s mind – I can’t change their mind. Most of the people when I tested positive, they already thought of something in their mind anyway – and I can’t change those people’s minds.
“The true fans are understanding of what I’ve been through. For them to look up to me still, that means a lot.”
Jamaican Bolt, 28, said last week he is “unable to compete at 100%” because of a pelvic injury.
But organisers of the Anniversary Games – at London’s Olympic Stadium from 24-26 July – are hopeful he will run at their event.
That follows Wednesday’s Budget including provision for income-tax exemption for non-residents participating in the meeting.