Commonwealth Games boss Mark Peters has sensationally lashed out at fans after Scotland's Callum Hawkins collapsed during Sunday morning's marathon on the Gold Coast.
In sweltering conditions, Hawkins, who was leading the race by over two minutes, collapsed in serious distress with just two kilometers to run.
In scary scenes, he was left on the pavement for over a minute and a half before medical assistance arrived on the scene.
The incident caused immediate global outrage, with one-time marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe slamming Games organisers.
Speaking on BBC commentary, former British runner Steve Cram said the situation was disgraceful.
Team Scotland issued a statement shortly after the race - which was eventually won by Australian Michael Shelley - saying Hawkins was recovering well and wouldn't face any long-term health side-effects.
In a press release on Sunday afternoon, Gold Coast 2018 CEO Mark Peters defended the race's organisation amid claims it started too late in the day.
"We are offering every assistance possible to Callum and Team Scotland," he said.
“GOLDOC has put in place a wide range of measures to ensure athlete welfare and the response of medical staff this morning was within agreed response guidelines and timeframes."
But it was the last line of quotes from Peters that have raised eyebrows.
"I was also concerned about the behaviour of a small number of bystanders who chose to take images," he said.
"This is not in keeping with the spirit of GC2018."
His comments were met with disbelief and anger by many.
Pathetic response by #GoldCoastCommonwealthGames organising committee (GOLDOC) chief executive Mark Peters to #callumhawkins collapse We need to check the facts out. You can't have medical people on every km athletes have to make a decision whether they want to go on or not'.— ✨Ian S Goudie✨ (@ian9657) April 15, 2018
Can I add Mark Peters is incorrect in his statement. One of the persons taking photos of Callum Hawkins is not a ‘bystander’ but staff/volunteer. Surely if she was placed there the LOC knows who she is @BBCSport pic.twitter.com/TUzgeorJjO— Paul 🌹 (@hgguyse) April 15, 2018
Comms Games boss Mark Peters; you should be ashamed instead of apportioning blame to others
‘F*****g help him’: Why did it take so long?https://t.co/HAxNhog2WJ— Tony Sheahan (@TonySheahan) April 15, 2018
“...asked to explain why it took so long for paramedics..Hawkins, #gc2018 chief executive Mark Peters said: ‘We need to check the facts out. You can't have medical people on every kilometre of the road.’”
Yeah, you can. Specially towards the end! https://t.co/arp8c8hVUB— Nikolai Hampton (@NikolaiHampton) April 15, 2018
Mark Peters Race CEO says 'medics cant be everywhere' #callumhawkins collapsed,.. ran for 6+ mins. Risk assessment Mark you donkey.— Michael Brady (@hidetheevidence) April 15, 2018
In an earlier comment to the media, Peters said: "We need to check the facts out. You can't have medical people on every kilometer of the road."
That statement is at odds with the press release that was issued later in the day.
"GOLDOC can confirm that during the race, medical staff were posted at 500metre intervals in the final kilometres of the course all of which had radio communications," the release said.
"In competition there are strict rules around accepting medical help and subsequent disqualification."
Hawkins had showed gradual signs of deterioration in the five to 10 minutes before he collapsed for good.
He listed sideways, tripped over on a grass verge, and struggled to get back to his feet. Several hundred metres - and over two minutes later - Hawkins collapsed on a bridge just past the 40km mark.
At no stage is medical assistance visible on the television coverage when Hawkins collapses for the first time, or at any stage before he collapses again. The Scottish runner then lay on the ground for a minute and a half before a medic arrived.
Radcliffe and others have questioned the organisation of the race, asking why it took so long for assistance to arrive despite Hawkins' obvious distress.
Source : http://www.sportingnews.com/au/athletics/news/commonwealth-games-2018-games-organiser-mark-peters-hits-out-at-spectators-after-callum-hawkins-collapses-during-marathon/n4t6kzh1z39b1943a4yjt55es978