Just hours after Bolt lost to Gatlin, Coe had said that the American would not have won the gold here had he been handed a lengthier eight-year ban, which would have in essence been a life ban for his second dope offence in 2006.
It wasn't the tone of a man who had made athletics more popular.
Always a fan favorite, Bolt maintained his Hollywood smile as he jogged around the track following the race, Jamaican flag in tow.
The USA should be rivals, though in Rio a year ago they were disqualified after Gatlin received the baton outside the first change-over zone. "I worked hard, I'm definitely disappointed I didn't win, but no one is going to be happy to not win", said Bolt after the race. If that doesn't surprise you, consider this, Bolt's fastest speed in a race is 27.79 miles per hour. However, 400m champions usually fall into obscurity outside the world of track and field. The victor of every individual Olympic and world championships final in the 100 and 200 that he has started-Bolt was disqualified for a false start in the 100 at the 2011 world championships-he couldn't walk down the United States' 21-year-old Christian Coleman (second in 9.94), who burst out of the starting blocks, and was unable to hold off Gatlin's frantic push over the last 30 meters of the battle.
Though van Niekerk could eventually prove to match Bolt's ability, his reserved personality means he'll likely never reach the heights of Bolt's legendary persona.
On Saturday, it felt surreal to anyone who's been at one of these Bolt victories before. "Good for him, otherwise, I think the sport would have dragged him down".
"The young runners in our team - it is just about executing and coming through the race for them". Whatever the case, I remarked on Bolt's guilt by association with his Jamaican teammates in "Drugs as Rampant in Track as in Cycling", July 16, 2013.
I can't be convinced though, and believe lifetime bans are needed.
Stomach flu has been the biggest story of the world championships. It's too bad that, far from being the fun and lovable guy Bolt always was, Lewis was always an arrogant and surly jerk.
Gatlin and the United States team also including another convicted doping cheat, Mike Rodgers, and Jaylen Bacon were booed when introduced although the jeering was less than for the individual 100m event.
Policing drugs in professional sports is not only Orwellian; it's utterly futile. And if what they do or take poses no harm to anyone except themselves, who cares?!
"It's been brilliant. The energy in the stadium is outstanding", Bolt said, hailing the deafening support in the packed-out London Stadium "not just for me but the whole championships".
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In order to tackle the menace, some countries (like Ethiopia, Austria, France and Italy) have passed legislations to make doping a criminal offence.
International Olympic Committee strips Bolt of gold...