Track and Field

Sebastian Coe thinks Justin Gatlin should have been banned for life

IAAF president Sebastian Coe didn't spare any feelings when talking about Justin Gatlin and his win in the 100-metre at the track and field world championships over the weekend, saying he's "not eulogistic at the thought of somebody who has served two bans in our sport walking off with one of the biggest prizes our sport has to offer."

IAAF president not pleased with 2-time drug cheat winning one of track's most coveted titles

American 100-metre gold medallist Justin Gatlin receives his medal from IAAF President Sebastian Coe on the podium during the victory ceremony at the world track and field championships over the weekend. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Sebastian Coe didn't spare any feelings when talking about Justin Gatlin and his win in the 100-metre at the track and field world championships. 

Coe, the IAAF president, told the BBC that he's "not eulogistic at the thought of somebody who has served two bans in our sport walking off with one of the biggest prizes our sport has to offer."

Gatlin, 35, won Saturday's race in a stunning upset of Usain Bolt, who was running the 100 for the final time in his illustrious career.

"Sport rarely settles upon the perfect script. Life's just not like that," said Coe, but adding, "It's not the worst result ever."

The American sprinter has been caught doping twice in his career, serving a total ban of five years.

His first doping transgression was in 2001, when Gatlin tested positive for a medication he had been using since childhood. But the ban was reduced from two years to one year on appeal.

The second ban, a positive test in 2006 for testosterone, was reduced from eight years to four. 

"The second ban, we went for an eight-year ban, which would have, in essence, been a life ban. We lost that," said Coe. 

What Coe is not ready to do is give up on an eventual lifetime ban for Gatlin.

"I'm never going to ... close the door on the thought that we could end up one day with a lifetime ban," he said.

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