Bolt bites back at reporter over 'disrespectful' question - ROUND GIST

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Bolt bites back at reporter over 'disrespectful' question

Usain Bolt was left gobsmacked by one reporter's question after his loss to Justin Gatlin the 100m final at the world championships.

Bolt was all class after finishing third behind Gatlin and Christian Coleman in his farewell race in London, defending former drug cheat Gatlin in the face of a booing crowd and the awaiting media.

However his cool exterier crumbled away at one stage as he bit back at the reporter's 'disrespectful' question during a media conference.

Sitting next to Gatlin and Coleman whie taking questions, Bolt interjected after he couldn't believe what he'd heard.

The reporter directed the question at Gatlin - who has failed two drug tests in his career - and asked if the lower times at this meet could be attributed to greater doping control given that there was only seven sub-10 second times this year compared to 21 at the 2015 world champs.

"Woah woah, what?!" Bolt cut in. "What's she saying? I heard you but I’m saying, 'what?!'

"First of all, I’m sure everybody up here takes that very disrespectfully.

"We’ve proved we’ve worked hard; as I said Justin has done his time over the years and he's proven himself over and over again. I’ve proven myself over and over again.

"Young kid, just coming in, Coleman, has done great and shown the world he’s going to be a great athlete.

"There’s something called injury — and sometimes everything don’t go smoothly as you want to. There’s negative wind, there’s so many different (factors).

"So for you to just directly state something to all three of us like that, I take that as disrespectful ... because we've done so many great things throughout the years. Yes, it’s slow. But we came out there and put on a good show for everybody so, yeah ... wow."

Gatlin was jeered as he received his gold medal on Monday morning, but also received polite applause from the packed Olympic Stadium at the ceremony - after in the two previous race days Bolt was hailed and adored and Gatlin booed mercilessly.

Gatlin is unpopular as he has served two doping related suspensions, the first in 2001 in connection with an attention deficit disorder medication and the second for a positive testosterone test in 2006.

The 35-year-old was banned for life which was reduced to eight years and then four.

When he returned in 2010 Bolt had conquered the sport and from 2015 onwards their duel took the "good versus evil" tone although the two runners always expressed their respect for each other.

Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, conducted the medal ceremony, giving Gatlin a short handshake while spending more time with Bolt - after telling BBC radio that he had mixed feelings.

"It's not the perfect script," Coe said.

"I'm not eulogistic that someone who has served two bans has walked off with one of our glittering prizes. But he is eligible to be here."

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