What the IAAF jury of appeal take away with one hand they give with the other.
In the space of an hour the British men's 4x100m team were disqualified and had their bronze medal stripped from them while the women's 4x100 team were promoted from fourth into bronze.
In both cases the offence had been the same: an athlete had strayed out of the changeover zone on the second handover. But the reactions among the men and women were understandably very different.
The British men's sprint relay team has suffered many spirit-decimating blows in recent years but this disqualification hurt most of all. Just as they were walking to collect their bronze medals, having finished third behind Jamaica and the United States in a season's best time of 37.80sec, they received a tap on the shoulder to inform them they been disqualified.
Meanwhile, long after the closing ceremony had finished and when the stadium's banners and timing systems were being dismantled, the British women's team were bumped up to third. They heard the news from the relay coach, Rana Reider, in the team hotel while in their glad rags as they were heading out to the official athletes' banquet.
Earlier they had looked set for a surprise medal only for Hayley Jones to run out of gas in the final 20m and the team to slip from second to fourth behind the winners, Jamaica. Now, though, there was delirium.
"I can't even think what to say, I'm shaking right now," said Jones. "We were all screaming when we found out. It was so disappointing to finish fourth, it really is the worst place, so this is great.
"I heard that there was a few things that were a bit dodgy but with it taking so long to come through I thought the appeal had been rejected."
The adverse men's decision was just but marginal, with James Ellington ruled to have strayed out of his box while collecting the baton from Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
But what made it worse was the squad had no inkling it was coming – and neither did anyone else. The Canadians, who were pushed up into bronze, had to change abruptly from casual clothes into discarded kit.
Ellington was in tears, a towel over his head, unable to talk. It was left to Aikines-Aryeetey to sum up the mood. "It's heartbreaking," he said. "I feel like shit. You're going out there to get your medal andthen someone stands in front of you and says, 'Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.'"
It had taken 40 minutes to find out – almost the same time it took Mo Farah to win his 5,000m and 10,000m gold medals. During that time the team had celebrated with a lap of honour, during which they took ecstatic leaps around the track at Luzhniki Stadium, as if they were holding imaginary pogo sticks.
Dwain Chambers even wore a bowler hat and laughed away with Usain Bolt who, to the delight of the Moscow crowd, Cossack-danced to celebrate his 10th world championship medal which includes eight golds from Berlin 2009, Daegu 2011 and here in Moscow, and two silvers from Osaka in 2007.
He is a sliver in front of Carl Lewis, who collected eight golds, a silver and a bronze in a glorious decade from 1983 to 1993.
"We had no inkling when we finished," added Aikines-Aryeetey. "It does take its toll. You can only get knocked down so many times. We are going to come back fighting, we are going to give our all next time but this still cuts deep."
Afterwards Bolt, who led home the Jamaican team of Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey Cole and Nickel Ashmeade in 37.36sec – the sixth fastest 4x100 in history – was critical about the world championships.
"I must be truthful, it's not been the best," he said. "The food was all the same and I'm used to seeing the stadium rammed. Over the days it got better. More people started smiling and there were more people in the stands. It picked up at the end, so I will have to say 7/10. I'm just being real."
The final day of these championships was nearly as punchy as Bolt. Not much was expected of Chris O'Hare in the men's 1500m final and not much was delivered as he finished 40m back in last behind the impressive favourite Asbel Kiprop. "It's horrible and brutal to be that far back and searching for those gears and they're not there," O'Hare admitted.
"It's like everyone's just shouting at you to sit down and give up because there's no point."
Teddy Tamgho became only the third man in history to leap over 18 metres in the triple jump as he won gold from Cuba's Pedro Pichardo, second with 17.68m, and Will Claye, third with 17.52m.
After leaping 18.04m to victory, the Frenchman revealed that Jonathan Edwards had spoken to him. "He congratulated me and told me that one of my fouls was above his world record of 18.29m," he said. "But it is the victory that matters."
In the women's 800m a display of bravado front-running from Alysia Johnson-Montano ended with her finishing outside the medals as she was caught just before the line.
The American went through the bell in 56.06sec and led by 15m for most of the race. But in the last 100m she began to tie up and the Kenyan Eunice Sum led the charge past for gold in 1:57.38.
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