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Sprinter Justin Gatlin calls out heckler from medals podium

Sprinter Justin Gatlin calls out heckler from medals podium
U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin gestures on the podium after winning the silver medal in the men's 100 meters during the world championships in Beijing. (Wu Hong / EPA)

If Justin Gatlin seemed distracted on the medals podium at the world championships on Monday, he had good reason.

As the American sprinter was receiving the silver for his second place finish in the 100 meters, he noticed a spectator bothering his mother in the stands.

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Gatlin pointed and yelled at the heckler.

"I was like, 'Hey, chill out with that. Be a gentleman,'" Gatlin told the Associated Press.

The 33-year-old is a polarizing figure in his sport. After winning the Olympic 100 meters in 2004, he served a four-year doping suspension and has fought his way back to the elite level amid continued suspicions.

His loss to Usain Bolt over the weekend was widely characterized as a victory for good over evil.

The rivals are scheduled to meet again in the 200-meter preliminaries on Tuesday.

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