Jamaican Usain Bolt says it is rough losing one of his nine Olympic gold medals after relay team mate Nesta Carter was found guilty of doping at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “It’s rough that I have to give back one of my medals and I already gave it back because it was of course required by the IOC”, Bolt told Reuters on Friday in his first comments since the International Olympic Committee ruling.
“I’m not happy about it but it’s just one of those things that happen in life.
“I can’t allow that to deter me from my focus this season, so I am focused but I am not pleased.”
Carter was found in re-tests of his sample to have taken the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, the IOC said on Wednesday, meaning the entire Jamaican relay team had to return their gold medals.
The loss of the 4×100 meters medal leaves Bolt with eight Olympic golds, and he does not think the ruling tarnishes his glittering career record.
And he still might have one last chance to reclaim his medal, with an appeal by Carter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the works, according to Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennell.
Bolt was non-committal about whether he would financially contribute to Carter’s appeal.
“That’s up to my management, there are a lot of variables so we will discuss that and see where we go from there,” he said.
Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time, having won an unprecedented treble of consecutive Olympic golds in the 100m and 200m in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
He also was part of the winning Jamaican 4×100 relay team in 2012 and 2016.
Bolt is credited with being a key factor in maintaining a global interest in athletics at a time when the sport has been ravaged by doping violations.
“I think I’ve still accomplished a lot, it hasn’t changed what I have done throughout my career,” said the 100m and 200m world record-holder.
“I have worked hard and pushed and done things that no one has done before. I have won three gold medals over the 100m and 200m.”
Bolt, 30, says he will retire after the 2017 world championships in London.
(Editing by Andrew Both)