Bolt 'sad' dop­ing talk dom­i­nat­ing Bei­jing worlds

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Ja­maican sprint star Usain Bolt ex­pressed his sad­ness Thurs­day that dop­ing is­sues rather than track talk were dom­i­nat­ing the build-up to the world cham­pi­onships that start in Bei­jing on Satur­day.

Ath­let­ics world gov­ern­ing body IAAF has re­cently been mired with al­le­ga­tions over dop­ing, while Bolt s main sprint ri­val is Justin Gatlin, the con­tro­ver­sial Amer­i­can who has served two dop­ing bans, the lat­ter for four years af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for testos­terone. "It s re­ally taken cen­tre stage," Bolt said of the dop­ing is­sue. "All I ve been hear­ing over the past cou­ple of weeks is dop­ing, dop­ing, dop­ing. "The ma­jor­ity of ques­tions are about dop­ing, it s def­i­nitely sad." But Bolt played down sug­ges­tions that he was the "saviour" of track and field, say­ing he alone was not ca­pa­ble to turn­ing the tide.

"Ini­tially I m run­ning for my­self, that s what I do," he said. "Peo­ple say I need to win for the sport, but there are a lot other ath­letes who are run­ning clean. "It s not only on me be­cause I can t do it my­self. "I think it s the re­spon­si­b­lity of all the ath­letes to take it upon them­selves to help save the sport and show the sport can go far, with­out drugs cheats or ath­letes who ve taken drugs."

Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medal­list and world record holder in both the 100m and 200m, added: "I just try to do what s right by the rules of the IAAF, WADA and ev­ery­body. We all know the rules and we just have to abide them. "It s not only up to me be­cause I can t do it by my­self be­cause I m not the only one in the sport.

"It s up to all the ath­letes to un­der­stand the rules and abide by them and just work hard to be the best: it will make sports a bet­ter place." Bolt might have en­dured a stop-start sea­son de­but, but he vowed he is ready to de­fend his dou­ble sprint ti­tles at the world champs. The tow­er­ing Ja­maican gets his cam­paign un­der way in heats for the 100m on Satur­day, the open­ing day of the com­pe­ti­tion that runs un­til Au­gust 30.

For Bolt, it will sig­nify a re­turn to Bei­jing s iconic Bird s Nest sta­dium, where he first made his name with a thrilling golden tre­ble in the 2008 Bei­jing Games. Since then, bar one hic­cup in the 100m at the Daegu world cham­pi­onships in 2011, Bolt has won ev­ery sprint and re­lay ti­tle at world and Olympic level.

Bolt last month roared back from an early sea­son pelvic joint is­sue that saw him miss six weeks of com­pet­i­tive ac­tion with back-to-back 100m times of 9.87sec at the Lon­don Diamond League meet­ing.

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