Justin Gatlin after the 2017 U.S. outdoor championships

Track and field

Time for this 9-second reminder: Justin Gatlin is real, and genuine

SACRAMENTO, California — Five years ago, on the last night of July, Bruce Springsteen played an epic show in Helsinki, more than four hours, his longest show ever.

He and the E Street Band played 33 songs, one of which, My City of Ruins, ran to 18 minutes and 26 seconds. That song, as Bruce describes it that night, was originally written about his New Jersey hometown “trying to get back on its feet” but had since become about so much more: “what you lose, what you hold onto, the spirits that remain forever and the things you have to let go.”

Michael Phelps testifying Tuesday before Congress // Getty Images

Doping

A theater-of-the-absurd hearing in Congress

You know what was missing from Tuesday’s theater-of-the-absurd hearing in Congress on what was billed as “ways to improve and strengthen the international anti-doping system?”

Besides, you know, a big check or a ready-to-implement action plan aimed at improving and strengthening the international anti-doping system?

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.

Voting in Venice Beach. This is California // Getty Images

2024 Bid Cities

The Olympics and President-elect Donald J. Trump

A Romanian friend and I were talking the other day about the campaign for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

If Paris wins, he said, it will be a thoroughly French Olympics. But if it’s Los Angeles — that, he said, would be an international Games with the potential to prove truly transformational for the Olympic movement in the 21st century.