Nehemiah seeks answers from IAAF over Gatlin exit

Tue May 19, 2015 2:24pm EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Justin Gatlin's manager is "disappointed and perplexed" over the treatment of the American sprinter who claimed he was "kicked out" by organizers of the World Challenge meet in Beijing after telling them of an injury concern.   

Renaldo Nehemiah told Reuters on Tuesday he would be seeking answers from the sport's governing International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) about the events which saw Gatlin storm home on the eve of Wednesday's meeting.   

Sprint hurdling great Nehemiah believes Gatlin, a controversial figure after twice failing drug tests, paid the price for his honesty in telling organizers on his arrival in Beijing on Saturday of his injury worry.

Even though he later improved and felt fit to run, Nehemiah said Gatlin was told by organizers that he should go home.    

By Tuesday night in Beijing there had still been no official response from the meeting's officials about the circumstances surrounding Gatlin’s departure.    

Nehemiah said he could only assume it was because they were unconvinced by Gatlin's fitness after he cramped up following a flight from Doha, where he ran a lifetime best of 9.74 seconds in the 100 meters -- the fastest in the world this year.    

The sprinter's manager said he felt the organizers may have been influenced by last year’s Beijing meeting when world 110m hurdles champion David Oliver pulled out late with injury.    

UNSETTLING TONE   Continued...

Justin Gatlin from the U.S. reacts after winning the men's 100 meters event during the Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar May 15, 2015.  REUTERS/AK Bijuraj