Justin Gatlin said he was “kicked out” from competing in a track and field meet in Beijing on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Gatlin’s agent, former 110m hurdles world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, said the dismissal was not related to Gatlin’s four-year doping ban from 2006 to 2010.
“No, it has nothing to do with that,” Nehemiah said, according to Reuters. “No, this is because they think he is injured and they don’t want him here if he’s injured.”
Gatlin said he initially told organizers he was unsure of competing due to a hamstring injury after he ran the fastest 100m time in the world (9.74) since August 2012 in Doha on Friday, but said he felt fine after training Monday. Nehemiah showed Reuters a Monday text message from an organizers’ representative “saying that the local organizing committee felt Gatlin should leave.”
“I was happy to stay,” Gatlin said, according to Reuters. “I’m fit and ready to run. I was cramping a lot after the fastest my body has ever run. They didn’t have any respect for me so they said: ‘You better leave,’ and they kicked me out.
“It’s crazy. I have no idea what they were thinking. I think they thought I wasn’t man enough and I might pull up in the race, or not finish it and then still ask for money.”
“But I’m not a man like that. I’m not the kind of guy to cheat people of their money or let the fans down … that’s not what I do.”
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion, said he would compete in the Pre Classic in Eugene, Ore., on May 30.
“I’m going to drop a bomb out there,” Gatlin said, according to Reuters.