London crowd boos Gatlin again, this time during medal

first_imgceremonyBy Philem Dipak SinghLondon, Aug 6 (PTI) Newly-crowned world 100m champion Justin Gatlin was today booed by the crowd at the Olympic stadium here once again, just hours after athletics world governing body chief Sebastian Coe said that the American should have been banned for life for a 2006 dope offence.The 35-year-old Gatlin, who has served two suspensions for doping offences, ruined retiring Usain Bolts fairytale farewell yesterday by beating the Jamaican sprint superstar in a highly anticipated 100m dash final.Bolt, who is expected to be a part of Jamaican title defence in mens 4x100m relay on August 12, came third, behind Gatlin and another American Christian Coleman.Stunned to see their favourite Bolt losing the race, the crowd booed Gatlin while chanting Usain Bolt! Usain Bolt!. Gatlin was simply cold-shouldered by the London crowd and the American had responded with a keep quiet gesture by putting his index finger on his lips.Today, during the victory ceremony held just before the afternoon session, Gatlin was booed again by the crowd.When bronze winner Bolts name was announced, the crowd responded with loud cheers. But as soon as the announcer in French began took Gatlins name, the crowd booed him. It was not a prolonged boo though as some sections of the crowd began to clap in acknowledgement of Gatlins victory.Gatlin took the boos on his chin as he stood stoically on the podium without showing any emotions.He called up Bolt and silver winner American compatriot Christain Coleman on the top podium to pose together for the shutterbugs.advertisementInterestingly, IAAF President Coe gave away the medals to Gatlin, Coleman and Bolt as it is customary for the global body chief to do the honours of the blue-riband event of the championships.Coe shook hands with Gatlin before honouring the newly- crowned champion with the gold medal, just as he did with Coleman and Bolt.Just a few hours back, Coe had said that Gatlin should have been handed a lengthier eight-year ban for his second dope offence in 2006 and that could have ended his career.”There have been two bans (on Gatlin) in the past. One got watered down, which made it very difficult for the second ban. The second ban, we went for an eight-year ban, which would have, in essence, been a life ban. We lost that,” Coe was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.Gatlin received a two-year ban 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.This ban, however, was also halved by an arbitration panel in 2007.”I would like (to see lifetime bans) and so would the majority of our sport. Im not going to close the door on lifetime bans but weve constantly tried it and lost it,” Coe, himself a double Olympic gold medallist in 1500m race, said.Talking about Bolt not being able to defend 100m gold in his final individual race, Coe said, “Im not eulogistic that someone who has served two bans has walked off with one of our glittering prizes. But he is eligible to be here.””Its not the perfect script. I thought Usain was very generous with the observations he made. That must have been a bitter event for him to swallow. He was bigger than the moment and it typifies his career,” the Briton said, referring to Gatlins claim that Bolt himself told him that he did not deserved to be booed.Coe, however, maintained that since Gatlin was eligble to run, he will have to be given some respect.”Gatlin is eligible to compete. Its not the most exciting day in prospect for me (to give away the gold mefal to Gatlin) but he has to be accorded some respect,” said Coe. PTI PDS ASK ASKlast_img

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