Athletics legends Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka comforted distraught French pole-vaulting star Renaud Lavillenie after he was booed for the second day by a hostile Brazilian crowd on the Olympic medal podium.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach slammed it as “shocking”.
Lavillenie – who hit out at the host nation’s fans for their conduct during the pole-vault final – held his head in his hands but could not stop tears streaming down his face as he stood on the podium after receiving his silver medal.
In a private room after, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist was consoled by international athletics chief Coe, Bach and pole-vault legend Bubka, an IAAF vice-president.
Bach said later on Twitter it was “shocking behaviour for the crowd to boo Renaud Lavillenie on the medal podium. Unacceptable behaviour at the Olympic Games”.
The ceremony completed a miserable 24 hours for the French athlete, who lost his Olympic crown to unknown Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva in a dramatic final.