Justin Gatlin kicked out of Beijing meet

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justin-gatlin-photo-1.jpgControversial sprinter Justin Gatlin has returned home to the United States, after he was kicked out of the Beijing world challenge meet which gets underway tomorrow.

The 33-year-old, who is the fastest man in the world this year after clocking 9.74 seconds at last week's diamond league meeting in Doha, returned home just 48 hours after reaching Beijing. It is understood that he was sent a text message by the organizers, which stated that he had better leave.

Gatlin said organizers had shown him a lack of respect after he told them he would still compete despite feeling a little dehydrated.

The sprinter, who has become a polarising figure in the sport after previously serving two drugs bans, was clearly bewildered and angry as he left for Beijing airport with his physiotherapist.

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, "This is because they think he is injured and they don't want him here if he's injured."

Nehemiah said he had been told by organizers the sprinter would have to pay for all his team's travel and hotel costs, amounting to nearly $12,000, and would not receive his appearance fee.

Former hurdling great Nehemiah added that he would be taking up the matter with the International Association of Athletics Federations. (IAAF).

The meeting organizers have yet to respond to the American's comments.

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