x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Out of blue, Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt insists he is clean

Olympic champion Usain Bolt insisted he was a clean athlete and that fans could trust him despite recent failed drugs test by rivals Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay.

Usain Bolt, centre, returning to London to compete in a Diamond League meet, discussed his feelings about returning to the site of the 2012 Olympics and the recent drug issues with Jamaican athletes.
Usain Bolt, centre, returning to London to compete in a Diamond League meet, discussed his feelings about returning to the site of the 2012 Olympics and the recent drug issues with Jamaican athletes.

The six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt insisted on Thursday he was a clean athlete and that fans could trust him despite recent failed drugs test by the Jamaican's sprint rivals Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay.

"I was made to inspire people," Bolt said in London, ahead of his return to the Olympic track on Friday where he will run in the 100 metres at the Diamond League Anniversary Games. "I was given a gift, I know I'm clean."

He said failed drug tests did not hit him on a personal level.

"I'm not going to stress about it," he said.

Bolt's compatriot Powell, the former 100 metre world-record holder, tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at Jamaica's national trials last month and is still waiting to discover if his "B" sample confirms the original finding.

Gay, the US 100m record holder, tested positive for the same stimulant in May.

Bolt, 27 next month, refused to condemn either of his rivals.

"There's a lot of details to be discussed, I'm just waiting to see what's going on," he said.

"I spoke to Asafa; it's tough, it's hard. I told him to stay strong.

"In life you learn anything is possible. You have to be very careful as an athlete, there are a lot of things on the banned list."

At the London 2012 Olympics Bolt repeated his Beijing Games feat of winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic gold medals.

Asked how dejected athletics fans could "trust" him, Bolt replied: "How long have you been following Usain Bolt?

"2008? If you've been following me since 2002 you know I've been doing phenomenal things since I was 15.

"I've broken every record there is to break.

"Right now I'm living out my dream. I've shown throughout the years I've always been great."

Asked about the call by Lord Coe, the British athletics great, to increase standard doping bans from two years to four years, which would see athletes who failed a drugs test miss the next Olympic Games, Bolt said: "I don't make the rules, I can't determine how hard things should be."

Another Jamaican athlete, Sherone Simpson, has also tested positive for the same stimulant as Powell.

Both athletes, through their agent, have mentioned supplements they were given by their trainer as a possible cause for the positive tests.

However, the sport's "strict liability" rule means competitors are held responsible for what goes into their bodies and Bolt, while praising the team around him, acknowledged his own duty in complying with the rules.

"I have a great team around me. They make sure everything goes smoothly but I am also careful myself," said Bolt, in London this week as part of his preparations for next month's World Championships in Moscow. "I get tested all the while. I got tested [Tuesday]. It's just part of the routine. I'm clean.

"Every athlete takes vitamins, I don't really take supplements. Hopefully, we can move past this … it's definitely going to set us back a bit as a sport. I just have to focus on the World Championships, run fast, and hopefully make people forget about this.

As for suggestions the banned list of substances was now too complicated and liable to entrap athletes who were not seeking a competitive advantage, Bolt replied: "If it's banned, you just try to avoid it. If there are rules, you follow them; that's the game of sport."

Bolt, who has also won five world titles, added he was looking forward to returning to the scene of his 2012 triple gold triumph.

"It's a great memory, for me it was a wonderful experience. The most moving thing was the amount of people in the stadium," he said. "Beijing was a mind-blower, my first Olympic gold medal.

"At London, I was expected to get a gold medal and I stamped my class. I really enjoy competing in London, it's like competing in Jamaica.

"I get a lot of support and I feed off that."

 

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE