Media slams former drugs cheat’s victory
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