Me­dia slams former drugs cheat’s vic­tory

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Lon­don, UK - Justin Gatlin may have sen­sa­tion­ally re­gained the world 100m ti­tle deny­ing su­per­star Usain Bolt a golden farewell but like the crowd in the Lon­don Sta­dium the Bri­tish press slammed the fact the former drugs cheat had gate­crashed the party.

Some saw it as the ul­ti­mate re­demp­tion for the 35 year old Amer­i­can - the Olympic 100m cham­pion in 2004 and world cham­pion in 2005 (also win­ning the 200m world crown to achieve the dou­ble) to have pre­vailed af­ter serv­ing a four year ban, which was re- duced from eight - from 20062010. He was also barred dur­ing his col­lege days for his med­i­ca­tion, which was for his At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der.

How­ever for the mer­ci­less Bri­tish me­dia it was no such thing. "Take GAT - Usain Bolt sunk as drugs cheat Justin Gatlin ru­ins his golden good­bye," head­lined The Sun.

"Gatlin dis­ap­peared from view af­ter a brief run down the home straight, but when he re­turned for in­ter­views he was greeted with chants of "cheat, cheat cheat" while he was live on air."

The Mail on Sun­day took a sim­i­larly dim view of Gatlin.

"A ter­ri­ble si­lence met the end of the men's 100m fi­nal here," wrote its cor­re­spon­dent.

"Not only was Usain Bolt, the great hero of the sport, de­nied vic­tory in his fi­nal in­di­vid­ual race, but it was won by two-time drugs cheat Justin Gatlin. Ath­let­ics' worst night­mare had just un­folded in front of a watch­ing world."

The broad­sheet press was largely in agree­ment although

The Guardian be­lieved that chick­ens had come home to roost for the sport it­self.

Its crit­i­cism comes de­spite the sport's gov­ern­ing body, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF), tak­ing the hard­est line of all sports au­thor­i­ties with the Rus­sian dop­ing scan­dal and has still kept its ban in place of al­low­ing it to com­pete as a coun­try. "The Amer­i­can, who was banned twice early in his ca­reer for dop­ing of­fences, is nec­es­sar­ily not the cham­pion the sport wants," com­mented the news­pa­per. "But given its prob­lems, it is one that many will feel it de­serves."

As for Gatlin, The Guardian drew a com­par­i­son with Amer- ican car­toon su­per hero Bat­man - Gatlin as a child used to dress up as him and jump on his par­ents bed when they were still asleep.

"A cou­ple of years ago, Gatlin de­scribed him­self as 'the Bat­man of the track -a vig­i­lante'," the pa­per com­mented.

"But few in the Lon­don Sta­dium were cel­e­brat­ing the ris­ing again of this self-styled Dark Knight."

The Daily Tele­graph took a sim­i­lar tack la­belling the vic­tor as a 'gate­crasher' and declar­ing 'you may never see a greater anti-cli­max'. It also be­rated the sport for al­low­ing him to re­turn.


US sprinter Justin Gatlin wins the fi­nal of the men's 100m race at the 2017 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships at the Lon­don Sta­dium in Lon­don, UK, on Sat­ur­day

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