The father of 100m world champion Justin Gatlin says fans who booed his son at London 2017 are disrespecting the sport.
Gatlin – who has twice been banned for doping in his career – was jeered after beating Usain Bolt in Saturday’s 100m final, and then again during the medal ceremony.
“It (the booing) doesn’t upset me because I know what kind of son I raised, what kind of character he has,” Willie Gatlin said of the crowd’s reaction to his son Justin.
“The fans booing is disrespectful to the sport. The sport has always been here and is going to be here after he leaves. He created a memory that is going to be in people’s minds a long time.”
As far as Willie Gatlin is concerned, his son did the crime and has done the time, and that should be the end of the matter.
“He served his ban and he worked his heart out doing what he could,” he added.
“He wasn’t just lying around. He worked to come back to the sport and he worked his way back to championship form.
“For the youngsters coming up he is trying to help to tutor and help to be good, clean athletes. He is trying to teach good character and good sportsmanship about themselves.
“I don’t think he has regrets, it is a lesson learned. Everything happens for a reason and it gives you teaching moments. We have been through it all and we bear it all.”