Usain Bolt, the Jamaican record-setting sprinter left the 2016 Summer Games with more than just three Olympic golds in hand, he was also the first person to ever achieve victories in all three major sprint events in three olympics in a row. Unfortunately, The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that Bolt would have to return his 2008 Olympic gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay. The drug testing administration retested hundreds of samples and found that one of Bolt’s teammates on his relay team (Nesta Carter) violated anti-doping rules.
The disqualification ruined Bolt’s massive win streak. It also knocked him from the top spot that he had shared with American Carl Lewis and Finland’s Paavo Nurmi as the only track and field athletes to have nine gold medals.
“Over the years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion,” said Usain Bolt. “It’s just one of those things. Things happen in life, so when it’s confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal, I’d have to give it back, it’s not a problem for me.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Carter’s sample tested positive last year for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant often used as a nasal decongestant. The IOC classifies the drug as a specified substance in 2011, but in 2008, when Carter’s sample was taken, it was still illegal to use and could cost an athlete their medal.
“It sucks for Bolt to get his medal revoked after all he has been through to get to the top,” said Jenny Nnoile. “It’s always a bummer to lose because of teammates, especially years after an event, but I guess it’s part of the game.”
With Jamaica’s place at the top of the 4×100 now scratched, second-place finishers Trinidad and Tobago can lay claim the 2008 gold. Japan gets silver, and Brazil slides up to bronze. Carter is among dozens of Olympians to have been caught up in the IOC’s retests of samples. The team has already had samples tested in the recent Olympics, using improved technology to keep the integrity of the games, and to make sure that every country is on equal footing.
Photo Courtesy: Zimbio