Just out for a happy little jog, Rio men's 200 semifinal // Getty Images

Just out for a happy little jog, Rio men's 200 semifinal // Getty Images

Track and field

Bolt the “legend,” and the joy of six

MONACO — Once again, here was a pack of journalists circled around Usain Bolt. Here came the familiar sorts of wacky questions: Was he interested in doing bobsled like the Jamaican “Cool Runnings” team that went to the 1988 Winter Games? (No.) Could he see himself playing NFL football? (No.) And more.

Bolt, the self-proclaimed “legend,” has said — many times — that he intends to retire after the 2017 International Assn. of Athletics Federations world championships in London. If so, the clutch gathered Friday around Bolt at the Fairmont Hotel, in advance of the evening’s IAAF awards gala, where he would — for the sixth time — take home the trophy as best male athlete, was both familiar and melancholy.

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Doping

WADA did not just sit idly by

Fat headlines are fun. A rush to judgment can feel so exhilarating. Yet serious decisions demand facts and measured judgment.

To believe the headlines, to take in the rush, one would believe that the World Anti-Doping Agency sat around for the better part of four years and did nothing amid explosive allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia sparked in large measure by the whistleblower Vitaliy Stepanov, a former Russian doping control officer, and his wife, Yulia, a world-class middle-distance runner.

Ashton Eaton after crossing the finish line in the decathlon 1500 // Getty Images

Ashton Eaton after crossing the finish line in the decathlon 1500 // Getty Images

Track and field

A decathlon record but more U.S. relay woe

BEIJING — For this world championships year, 2015, the U.S. 4×100 men’s and women’s relay teams had one objective, and one objective only: get the stick around. Really. The trick was not to fall prey to the dropsies, oopsies and bumps in the night that have for far too long at major meets have plagued American entries.

With several young runners on the track and and the idea of using the 2015 worlds as an end unto itself but also a means of preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the verdict Saturday: oops, again!

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Track and field

Cut Justin Gatlin some slack

BEIJING — Dear friends and colleagues in the media, especially many of you in the British press: back off. Cut Justin Gatlin some real slack.

Instead of insight and the pursuit of the truth, what far too many of you have delivered instead is a simplistic caricature of events amid the 2015 world track and field championships that, regrettably, has led to the capacity to incite.