DAEGU, South Korea // Lamine Diack maintained the hardest of lines Saturday, saying there would be no changing or bending of the rules to prevent big names being disqualified.
"No chance," the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president said, despite the fact that the start of the championships was marred by the disqualification of two of the sport's biggest names on technicalities.
Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, was scratched from the 100-metre final for making a false start under the IAAF's one-false-start-and-you're-out rule.
A day later, Cuba's Dayron Robles was dramatically stripped of his 110m hurdles gold medal for bumping China's Liu Xiang along the track.
The rules are the rules, Diack stressed.
"I work for this rule. I like very much this rule, I vote for having this rule," he said of Bolt's disqualification.
"[In the past] all athletes have the possibility to have one [false start], so you can have eight. Think about television ... it was disturbing to have everybody able to make a false start.
"After that we said 'one'. And we see that some are making it voluntarily and still stay in the competition. So now we say we do not want one voluntarily disturbing the competition ...
"He [Bolt] understands that because he made a false start and immediately he takes off his T-shirt and says 'OK I go out'."
The 78-year-old Senegalese was equally dismissive of suggestions of leniency for Robles.
"If he obstructs Liu he has to be disqualified," Diack said.