‘COE AND IAAF BEHAVIOUR INHUMANE’
Gatlin’s agent furious over remarks about new world champion
ATHLETICS chief Sebastian Coe and the IAAF’s treatment of controversial 100 metres world champion Justin Gatlin is ‘inhumane’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’, the athlete’s agent told the BBC in a blistering attack.
British athletics legend Coe — a two-time 1500m Olympic champion — had told the BBC on Sunday two-time drugs cheat Gatlin’s victory in the sport’s most high profile event in London, which was watched by over eight million viewers in Britain, was not the ‘perfect script’.
Gatlin, 35, had been loudly booed throughout the 100m rounds and the verbal abuse was ratcheted up a few notches when he won the final, denying Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt a 12th world title in his last individual final.
The 60,000 plus spectators jeered Gatlin whilst chanting bronze medal winner Bolt’s name as if he were the champion.
Coe — who had said prior to being elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) he felt ‘queasy’ about dopers returning and winning titles — remarked he wasn’t very excited about the prospect of placing the gold medal around Gatlin’s neck.
“I’m not eulogistic that someone who has served two bans has walked off with one of our glittering prizes,” said Coe.
However, Gatlin’s agent Renaldo Nehemiah, a former 110m hurdles world record holder, was scathing about Coe’s remarks.
“I take offence to, with all respect, Lord Coe,” he told the BBC.
“I don’t condone doping but Justin Gatlin is not the poster child for it. He’s done his time, he plays by the rules, the IAAF reinstated him. They said if you come back we should accept that.
“So to put a narrative out that it’s just Justin Gatlin and he’s the bad guy, it’s really not fair.
“It’s inhumane. It’s unsportsmanlike.”
Coe has always been a hardliner on doping, believing second time offenders like Gatlin should have life bans — however that view has fallen foul of the legal system when athletes have gone to court to challenge such punishments.
Nehemiah said if Bolt could accept graciously that Gatlin was justified in being there, then it should be good enough for anybody. AFP