American Justin Gatlin felt the full force of the crowd’s ire on Sunday and scowled back in response before finishing second to Usain Bolt in the Olympic 100 meters final and miss out on becoming the oldest man to win the event.

The 34-year-old Gatlin, who has served two career doping suspensions, played the sullen yin to Jamaican superstar Bolt’s exuberant yang, glowering both times he was introduced to boos as he entered the Olympic stadium.

“At the end of the day you hear everything, but you have to tune that kind of stuff out,” Gatlin told reporters.

“Back in the warm-up area, we all have respect for each other. So I would just like to see everyone have the respect in the audience as well.”

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's 100m Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  14/08/2016. Justin Gatlin (USA) of USA reacts after the race     REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
2016 Rio Olympics – Athletics – Final – Men’s 100m Final – Olympic Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 14/08/2016. Justin Gatlin (USA) of USA reacts after the race REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

By contrast, 29-year-old Jamaican Bolt smiled and waved to a crowd that eagerly complied with his gestures requesting cheers or, just before the starter’s gun, silence.

Bolt said he was surprised to hear Gatlin booed.

“It is the first time I have come into a stadium and they booed someone,” Bolt said. “It was shocking … I guess some people are more vocal than others.”

After winning his semi-final, when he had also been booed, Gatlin let his momentum carry him straight through the tunnel leading to the athletes’ private area under the grandstand.

After taking silver in the final with a 9.89 second performance to Bolt’s 9.81, he strode around the track with an American flag draped over his shoulders, smiling to the occasional friendly faces he found in the crowd.

A resident of Orlando, Florida, Gatlin served a one-year doping suspension after testing positive in 2001 for amphetamines contained in a medication he had taken for attention deficit disorder.

He later served four years after testing positive for artificially high levels of testosterone in 2006, returning to competition in 2010.

He claimed the second failure had been brought about by a masseur rubbing testosterone cream into his legs without his knowledge.

“That whole issue was over a decade ago,” Gatlin said. “I’ve been back in track and field for over six years.”

Athletes have been unusually vocal about doping during the Rio Games and American swimmer Lily King, who won gold in the 100m breaststroke and the 4x100m medley, said she thought Gatlin should not have been included on the U.S. team.

“Do I think people who have been caught for doping offences should be on the team? No, they shouldn’t,” King said last week.

Gatlin was asked about the comments on Saturday, replying: “I don’t even know who Lilly King is.”

With Sunday’s silver Gatlin now has five Olympic medals, including a gold in the 100m from the 2004 Athens Games and a bronze in the event from London in 2012.

He was part of the team stripped of the silver for the 4 x 100m relay in London after Tyson Gay admitted to doping but will have a chance to make up for that in the event this year.


  1. The only reason Gatlin have any ‘respect’ is because he has been made, on several occasions to eat humble pie. And what about Gatlin should people respect? When he was not top he was obnoxious & arrogant – that is what people are still responding to now. Anyway still IOC let him in so there’s no need to boo him.

  2. Good Morning Met,Metters,Peepers nd Others……

    The fact that even at the last Olympics him spit inna Bolt lane him think ppl really ago forget that and cheer him on him well hype,cocky,arrogant and drugs made weh him did think ago happen in the long run..look how him run semi-finals and as him done the reporter did a try seh something and him jsut walk past like champ cart guh under de tunnel

  3. I don’t support the booing. It is stupid. Justin is obviously very talented and made a stupid mistake for which he was punished.

    1. Him get boo because him need fi sit down. He is always talking shit about Bolt who dont see him so him shudda get all some orange guts.

    2. If yuh can’t cheer fi him, den by all means boo him. Him reap weh him sow. Yuh waan see him ah try look nawmal wid di US flag pon him…dem barely tun di camera pon him :ngakak

  4. Serve him right I can’t stand this duttty bwoy smh all him stay bad Trini gf I hate di b*tch mi see har a run off har stinking mouth last night all a tag him inna princemarni video dem bout she hope di video dem cheer him up

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