De­spite los­ing re­lay gold, Bolt hold­ing no grudge

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MEL­BOURNE, AUS­TRALIA —

Usain Bolt says he is re­signed to the fact that he’s lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals, but isn’t hold­ing any grudges against drug-tainted Ja­maican re­lay team­mate Nesta Carter.

Carter has said he will ap­peal af­ter re­anal­y­sis of his sam­ple from the 2008 Bei­jing Games us­ing more ad­vanced sci­en­tific meth­ods re­turned a pos­i­tive test to the pro­hib­ited stim­u­lant methyl­hex­aneamine.

The re­sult an­nounced by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee last week meant Ja­maica was stripped of the 4x100-me­ter re­lay gold, one of Bolt’s un­prece­dented three gold medals at three con­sec­u­tive Olympics at Bei­jing, Lon­don in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro last year.

Bolt and fel­low Ja­maican sprinter Asafa Pow­ell ar­rived in Mel­bourne on Wed­nes­day for a Nitro Ath­let­ics meet which be­gins Satur­day.

“Ini­tially (I was) dis­ap­pointed, of course,” Bolt said at the Mel­bourne air­port. “But in life, things hap­pen ... I’m not sad, I’m wait­ing to see if Nesta is go­ing to ap­peal or what­ever,” Bolt added. “So right now I’m just wait­ing to see what’s go­ing to hap­pen. But I gave up my medal.”

Carter teamed with Bolt on three straight world cham­pi­onship re­lay-win­ning teams, from 2011 through 2015. He also took an in­di­vid­ual bronze in the 100 in 2013 in Moscow, be­hind Bolt and Justin Gatlin of the United States.

Carter, who did not com­pete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year, faces a ban from the IAAF.

Bolt, Pow­ell and Michael Frater, the fourth mem­ber of the re­lay team which crossed the line in a world record time of 37.1 sec­onds at the Bei­jing Games, are all in Mel­bourne to com­pete in the Nitro Ath­let­ics se­ries. The meet held over three nights will fea­ture six teams of 24 track and field ath­letes — 12 women and 12 men — from Aus­tralia, an in­ter­na­tional team rep­re­sent­ing the Bolt All-Stars, China, Eng­land, Ja­pan, and New Zealand.

Or­ga­niz­ers say the team-based com­pe­ti­tion “com­bines strength, en­durance, power and ex­treme en­ergy” and in­cludes sprint, dis­tance, field and para-ath­letic events. The se­ries con­tin­ues on Feb. 9 and 11, also at Mel­bourne’s Lake­side Sta­dium.

For­mer 100-me­ter world record holder Pow­ell also served a dop­ing ban in 2014 af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive to the stim­u­lant ox­ilofrine, al­though his sanc­tion was re­duced from 18 months to six fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful ap­peal to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport.

“We went out there as a team and we did what we had to do,” Pow­ell said Wed­nes­day.

“It’s very un­for­tu­nate and we have to look to the fu­ture. We’ve ac­com­plished a lot and we just need to be pos­i­tive about ev­ery­thing right now. I’m in no po­si­tion to say what should and should not be (banned). It is what it is. Some things aren’t fair.”


Nesta Carter, left, and Usain Bolt cel­e­brate af­ter the men’s 4x100-me­tre re­lay fi­nal at the Bei­jing 2008 Olympics.

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