London 2017: Banned athlete accuses organisers of 'sabotage' over illness

Botswana runner Isaac Makwala has accused the IAAF of "sabotage" in an interview with ITV News after he was barred from running in the 200m heats and 400m World Championships final because of "illness".

The sportsman was forced to pull out of the 200m race inside the London Stadium on Monday after vomiting - despite Makwala maintaining he was not actually sick.

His exclusion came as a number of athletes competing in the championships were struck down with food poisoning.

Several stars were forced to withdraw from events and placed in quarantine as organisers attempted to contain the outbreak of gastroenteritis.

But Makwala, speaking to ITV News, claimed he was also banned from Tuesday's 400m final despite not having been tested for gastroenteritis by a doctor.

He accused organisers of "sabotage" after ITV News filmed the runner being prevented from entering the athletes' entrance by security.

The Botswanan competitor, a gold medal hopeful, said he still felt ready to race in Monday's 200m event despite vomiting.

Makwala said his temperature was taken by officials but that he was not tested for the food poisoning bug - a claim the IAAF disputed.

Speaking to ITV News, he said: "They said I had food poisoning - which I don't have. I was not tested for that."

He continued: "They didn't even want to listen to me. They said 'no, you can't run because you are sick.'"

"Sometimes I think maybe this is sabotage."

Public Health England have confirmed around 30 people staying in official championship hotels had reported illness since the weekend.

Of these two were confirmed as norovirus.

No British athletes have been affected.

And Makwala suggested he may have been able to compete in the 400m final had he been a British athlete.

"I asked myself 'what if I was a Great British guy, would they not allow me to run?'" he said.

"I don't think they would not allow me to run. If they saw the guy had potential they are going to allow him to run.

"It's only because I'm not a Great British athlete."

  • ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott on illness outbreak

In a statement, the IAAF insisted Makwala had been "diagnosed with an infectious disease" on Monday evening by event doctors.

"The decision to withdraw him from the 200m heats last night and the 400m final today was made on the basis of a medical examination conducted in the warm-up medical centre by a qualified doctor on Monday and recorded in the electronic medical record system of the championships," the statement said.

It added: "The IAAF is very sorry that the hard work and talent of Isaac Makwala won’t be on display tonight but we have to think of the welfare of all athletes."