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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Justin Gatlin’s father flays crowd for booing at World Athletics Championships

Justin Gatlin was roundly booed when he beat Usain Bolt in the 100m event at the IAAF World Athletics Championships and his father Willie Gatlin has now hit back at the crowd.

other-sports Updated: Aug 07, 2017 18:25 IST
Justin Gatlin was roundly booed after he won the gold medal in the Men's 100m during the World Athletics Championships.
Justin Gatlin was roundly booed after he won the gold medal in the Men's 100m during the World Athletics Championships. (AP)

Justin Gatlin’s father has asked the fans to lay off his son after the 35-year-old was booed inside the London Stadium while accepting his 100 metres World Championships gold medal.

Justin Gatlin, who has served two suspensions for doping offences, ruined Usain Bolt’s farewell on Saturday by beating the Jamaican sprinter in his final individual race.

“He is very strong and can deal with it. Only here. He only gets it here,” Willie Gatlin told the Times.

“The people booing need to read the reports. He has never committed a crime. They need to go and look at what was said.”

READ | Usain Bolt praises Justin Gatlin: ‘He’s one of the best I’ve faced’

Willie said Justin had been fully rehabilitated in the U.S. and that he could be a role model for children.

“He gets invited into schools all the time and does lots of talks,” he said.

Justin Gatlin was banned for two years in 2001 after failing a dope test for amphetamines found in prescribed medication he had been taking since a child for Attention Deficit Disorder. This suspension was later reduced to one year on appeal.

The sprinter then tested positive for testosterone in 2006 and was suspended for eight years, avoiding a lifetime ban in exchange for his cooperation with the doping authorities.

READ | Motivated by Gatlin, Tori Bowie knew she’d win IAAF World Championships final

This ban, however, was also halved by an arbitration panel in 2007.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe reiterated his support for life bans for convicted drug cheats, using Gatlin’s example to show how legal systems worldwide have made it increasingly difficult to impose severe punishments on athletes.

First Published: Aug 07, 2017 17:03 IST