To boo or not to boo, that’s the Justin Gatlin question

By Sherie Ryder- BBC News
Anyone who is a fan of athletics will not have missed the action at the London 2017 World Championships over the weekend.

All eyes were on Jamaica’s Usain Bolt to win his last 100m individual gold medal before hanging up his spikes, but on Saturday he was beaten into third place by America’s Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman.
Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, was subjected to boos and jeers both after winning the race and as he was presented with his gold medal on Sunday night.
But was this justified? The athlete feels he’s done his time and should be welcomed back to athletics.
BBC Sports commentators went head-to-head on whether booing Gatlin was the right thing to do.
Michael Johnson, who won nine individual gold medals at Olympic Games and World Championships in the 200m and 400m, said Gatlin had been cast as a villain by the media, which, he says, has ignored other competitors who have also served bans.
Johnson reiterated his opinions via Twitter on Monday morning, saying moving medal ceremonies to avoid booing shows athletics has problems.
The former coach of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Toni Minichiello, told the BBC: “The crowd expressed their opinion appropriately. It wasn’t the whole of the crowd. That’s sport, that’s drama.”
So which side were you on? Some say cheats should be banned for life, others say they should be given a chance once they’ve served their ban.
Double Olympic decathlon champion, Daley Thompson, prompted reaction before the race.
Skip Twitter post by @Daley_thompson
Clearly a knowledgable crowd too booing Justin Gatlin
— Daley Thompson (@Daley_thompson) August 5, 2017
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End of Twitter post by @Daley_thompson
However, many people felt the crowd was being disrespectful.
Skip Twitter post by @Elizabe65243369
He shouldn’t have been booed, the spectators needs to be told about #Rules and #Regulations when they purchased their tickets. Thanks.
— Elizabeth Barnes (@Elizabe65243369) August 7, 2017
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End of Twitter post by @Elizabe65243369
American hurdler, Queen Harrison, was not impressed with the boos:
Skip Twitter post by @goQueengo
The fact this crowd boo’ed Gatlin as he was on the podium is totally CLASSLESS! 100% classless! I am so disappointed, WOW!
— Queen Harrison (@goQueengo) August 6, 2017
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End of Twitter post by @goQueengo
Others have been reminding us that Gatlin is not the only person to have been given a doping ban.
Skip Twitter post by @aodhan_313
Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Dwayne Chambers, Tyson Gay, Nesta Carter, Maurice Green, Steve Mullings … all test +ve and yet Gatlin is blamed
— nothing (@aodhan_313) August 6, 2017
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End of Twitter post by @aodhan_313
On Facebook, the comments were plentiful and varied with some acknowledging Gatlin has “done his time” while others clearly preferring a total ban:
One Twitter user felt the boos were as much a statement of protest at the weak IAAF as much as it was for Justin Gatlin.
While another had some sympathy for Gatlin: “Imagine working so hard to win, just to be booed. There is a lot of complicity in the drugs thing. Gatlin isn’t the devil.”
A third added that no one will forget Gatlin’s past: “He won’t do it again.. at 35 he’s at the end of his career. He will always have a question mark after his results.”
Whatever happens during the rest of these championships, there is no doubt that doping will always be in the back of some people’s minds, whether it’s historical or not.
Written by BBC UGC and Social News team.

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