Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Heartbroken Bolt willing to give back medal

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 6:00 AMAndre Lowe
Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team (from left) Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt and Michael Frater celebrate winning the final and breaking the world record during the athletics competitions in the Bird’s Nest stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, on Friday, August 22, 2008.

Jamaican sprinting star Usain Bolt says that he has accepted that he may have to return his 4x100m relay gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but described the possibility as heart breaking.

Bolt and Asafa Powell both also expressed concern for their 2008 Beijing Olympics 4x100m relay teammate Nesta Carter, who retroactively tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - backed by improved technology - reassessed over 400 samples from the Beijing Olympic Games.

"It's heartbreaking. For years, you've worked hard to accumulate gold medals and you work hard to be a champion, so it's heartbreaking (that we may possibly lose one), but it's one of those things," Bolt told The Gleaner after Saturday's Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix inside the National Stadium.

The team, which was completed by Michael Frater, clocked a then world record 37.10 seconds to win gold, finishing ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan.

However, there is now a chance that the Jamaicans may end up losing this medal after Carter's 'B' sample reportedly confirmed the presence of the prohibited stimulant.

UPCOMING HEARING

Carter is expected to have his case heard by an IOC panel, with the possibility that he could face a suspension up to 18 months and with Jamaica also standing the risk of being stripped of the 4x100m relay gold medal that he helped to secure in Beijing.

"Things happen in life. If it's confirmed or whatever and I need to give back my gold medal, it's not a problem to me," added Bolt, who has won six gold medals over his three Olympic appearances.

Powell, who ran one of the fastest anchor legs in history in Beijing to secure what is his only Olympic gold medal to date, was sympathetic to Carter's difficulties.

"I'm more concerned about the athlete and I hope he gets through it. There's nothing I can do. It happens. It's just for them to make the right move," said Powell.

"It must be hard. I can't tell what he's (Carter) going through, but it must be hard and frustrating. I'm not too pleased about the situation. I think it's rough for track and field, but it's just one of those things," Bolt added.

Thirty-one athletes returned positives from 454 retested samples from the Beijing 2008 Olympics with another 23 turning up from the London 2012 samples after 265 were retested.

Bolt didn't seem to have the possibility of losing one of his six Olympic medals on his mind on Saturday as he stormed his way to a 9.88 seconds win in a much-hyped 100m clash.

The two-time defending Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m looks a good bet to add to his collection after he recovered from a near fall at the start of the race to commandingly beat a strong field that included Powell, who limped to fourth place in 9.98 after a calf issue, plus Nickel Ashmeade and Yohan Blake, who finished second and third, respectively, after both clocking 9.94 seconds.

"It shows that I am in good shape. I got a bad start and execution wasn't perfect, but I got the win, which is key, and I just need work. I told you earlier this season that I just need races and I think after trials, I will be in better shape. The more races I run, the faster I run, so after trials, I should be on fire," said Bolt.

"It's never about trying to send a message to anyone. It's about taking the right steps and building up to the Olympics. If they (rivals) want to be worried, that's up to them," Bolt said.