Liu Xiang has had his offending foot cut off by the Ruling Party as punishment for failing to compete at the Beijing Olympics, which had been built around the national hero's attempt to retain his 110m hurdles title.
The amputation was carried out as an extraordinary reminder of the cost of disappointing the regime.
Liu Xiang must have feared what fate awaited him as he lined up and tried to start the race although his foot was sending such searing pain thorough his body. No-one could have forseen this, though.
It follows on from the public execution of the management team responsible for the series of recalls of Mattel toys due to the hazardous levels of lead in the paint used in manufacturing.