Back in the innocent 1980s, sporting boycotts had a faintly heroic feel. In those days, they used to focus on whole countries. Americans wouldn't participate in Olympics held behind the Iron Curtain, Russians wouldn't compete in Olympics held in the land of the free.
And no one, apart from a few stubborn cricketers and rugger types, would play against South Africa in anything.
Nowadays, boycotts almost solely revolve around sportspeople refusing to co-operate with nasty broadcasters. Alex Ferguson really kick-started this trend. His long war with the BBC only ended a few years ago. GAA managers reserve the right to deny access to the Sunday Game whenever anything upsets them.
Justin Gatlin has announced he intends to boycott the BBC (and, indeed, the whole of the UK media) following their ecstatic reaction to his loss in the 100m world final yesterday.
The news was delivered via the mechanism of his agent Renaldo Nehemiah. He outlined the rationale behind Gatlin's stand to the Guardian.
Justin, as well as I, feel that the British media and journalists have been extremely unkind to him. There’s been nothing positive said about him now for some time. Every characterisation is solely about doping and vilifying him.
So, to maintain his own dignity and self respect, he feels it best not to speak to them. It’s very unfortunate, but he’s been hurt tremendously by these attacks. And as human beings, we should be better than that. The BBC in particular should report without lacing their comments and reporting with biased views.
Listening back to Steve Cram's commentary of the final, it's clear that the BBC would find it hard to defend itself against accusations of bias.
He jubilantly announced, with more than a little touch of hyperbole, that Bolt may have saved his sport.
BBC Radio Five Live's tweet (see below) also hints at a certain bias towards Bolt among their army of athletics contributors.
But then perhaps they regard being in Justin Gatlin's bad books as a not particularly uncomfortable place to be.
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) August 23, 2015