Athletics

Justin Gatlin Left 'Scratching His Head' By London Boos

Justin Gatlin Left 'Scratching His Head' By London Boos

Justin Gatlin is the 100-metres World Champion, whether anyone likes it or not.

The American  came from behind on Saturday night to win the final in London. When the scoreboard showed he was victorious, a chorus of boos rang around the Olympic Stadium.

The boos continued on Sunday evening when Gatlin received his medal, despite the IAAF doing all they could to lessen the publicity the medal ceremony would receive.

With his gold medal around his neck, Gatlin spoke to CNN, and admitted he was confused as to why the boos were suddenly so loud.

It leaves me scratching my head. I've been back in the sport since 2010. I wasn't booed in 2010. I wasn't booed in 2011. I wasn't booed in '12, which was still in London.

I wasn't booed in '13. I wasn't booed in '14 or '15. Not that much in '16, but here I understand the reason why.

You have black hats. You have white hats. You have evil. You have good.

I think it was really sensationalised by the media, between two people who have the utmost respect for each other.

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The 35-year-old's assertion that his status as the sprinting villain is down to the media, was touched on the BBC moments after his medal ceremony.

Michael Johnson revealed that the media certainly played its role in casting Gatlin as the villain, compared to Usain Bolt's heroism.

I think that we've done a poor job of educating because we created a story that was not accurate. We created a villain and hero story that created most of this.

The fact that Justin Gatlin was in this stadium in 2012 and no one booed him is proof of that.

Gatlin's win has started a conversation that many in athletics do not want to have. Should those who have served drug bans be welcomed back with open arms, or should they be treated with scepticism?

You cannot have it both ways.

SEE ALSO: Michael Johnson Calls Out Steve Cram Over Failure To Put Spotlight On Drug Cheats

Daniel Kelly

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