Gatlin’s father flays London crowd for booing son

World Athletics Championships
Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Men's 100 Metre Final – London Stadium, London, Britain - August 6, 2017. Justin Gatlin of the U.S. with his gold medal during the national anthem. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

August 7, 2017

(Reuters) – 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 meters World Championships gold medal.

American 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.”

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.

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.

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. [nL4N1KS0CA]

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

  • roger

    i just saw the movie dunkirk. i bet all those men and women who died protecting their country are turning in their graves. they are so ashamed what england has become. i bet if you gave them the choice of dying for their country , knowing what it would have become they would have said fk you to their country men and told them to learn to speak german.
    gaitlin you won, enjoy it . you are the fastest man in the world. come on home to a country that is proud of you

  • scrumsey

    Londonistan will boo anything American. Who cares?

  • Barry Soetoro-Chin

    Sorry Willie, your boy’s a convicted cheater and, you know as well as I do, once a cheater, always a cheater.

    • TP

      So glad Jesus doesn’t think the way you do!

      • Barry Soetoro-Chin

        He did, by punishing cheaters. it’s called morality and fair play and he was all about that. forgiveness too, up to a point.

        I don’t pretend to be Jesus, but I was a pretty good competitive athlete who despises cheaters.

  • SleepersAwake

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