Beijing World Challenge organizers 'perplexed' by Gatlin withdrawal report

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The Beijing organizers of the IAAF World Challenge series said they were "perplexed" by a report claiming star sprinter Justin Gatlin was "kicked out" of the event on Wednesday.

Gatlin's manager Renaldo Nehemiah told Reuters on Tuesday that Gatlin was "kicked out" by organizers of the World Challenge meet in Beijing after telling them of an injury concern.

Gatlin's name was missing from Wednesday night's 100m startlist and according to reports, the American, who has served two doping bans, told reporters as he left for the airport to fly home to Florida that he was "upset" by the lack of respect shown to him.

But on Wednesday, he said he was "fine" with the organizers on Twitter.

"Emotional day. All is fine with Beijing Org&me," he posted on Twitter. "We have a great relationship and I look forward to being there in Aug for worlds&next year for the meet," he said.

Beijing organizers said they did not understand why Nehemiah failed to communicate with them before he announced Gatlin's withdrawal.

"Nehemiah did not communicate with us before he announced Gatlin's withdrawal at yesterday's news conference. And we never got to speak with Gatlin in person," said Liu Jie, deputy director of the organizing committee.

"We had been preparing the event assuming Gatlin would run the race. There was no way we 'kicked out' the athlete. So we have been perplexed by what they said," Liu said.

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