Athletics: Beijing Olympics' Bolt from the blue

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will have to return one of his nine gold medals after the International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday that one of Bolt's teammates in the mens' 4x100 meter relay at the 2008 Beijing Games tested positive.
The Jamaica 4x100m relay team celebrating at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They have been officially stripped of their gold medals after Nesta Carter (right) was found guilty of a doping violation. The medals will now go to the Trinidad and Tobago 4x100
The Jamaica 4x100m relay team celebrating at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They have been officially stripped of their gold medals after Nesta Carter (right) was found guilty of a doping violation. The medals will now go to the Trinidad and Tobago 4x100m relay squad.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

The world's fastest man, Usain Bolt will lose 2008 gold after team-mate's doping folly

LONDON • Usain Bolt has been stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals after it was confirmed that his 4x100m relay team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It means Bolt can no longer claim to have done the "triple-treble" - gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The Jamaican has not commented on the news but last year said he would accept the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) verdict if it stripped him of his medal.

"It's heartbreaking because over the years you've worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion - but it's just one of those things," he said.

"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."

Traces of the banned stimulant Methylhexanamine were found in Carter's sample when 454 frozen blood and urine samples from the 2008 Games were retested by the IOC last year but it took until yesterday for them to confirm the news.

The 31-year-old Carter has been a vital member of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team for nearly a decade, running the first leg as they won golds at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships.

Carter, who is also the sixth fastest 100m runner of all time, helped Jamaica set a world-record 37.10sec in Beijing, as Bolt won the first of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m trebles during his first Olympics.

All four members of Jamaica's 4x100m squad in 2008 - Bolt, Carter, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater - have now been stripped of their medals.

The decision means that Trinidad and Tobago's team of Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman and Marc Burns are bumped up to gold, with Japan taking silver and Brazil bronze.

Methylhexanamine has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code prohibited list since 2004, although it was reclassified on the 2011 list as a "specified substance".

WADA defines specified substances as those that are more susceptible to a "credible, non-doping explanation". Sold as a nasal decongestant in the US until 1983, Methylhexanamine has been used more recently as an ingredient in dietary supplements.

Historically, the sanction for the use of Methylhexanamine has been a suspension of six months to a year and the loss of results from the period concerned.

Russian's Tatiana Lebedeva, who competed in the women's triple jump event and the women's long jump event in which she ranked second has also been disqualified from the 2008 Games.

Re-analysis of Lebedeva's samples resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'Beijing Olympics' Bolt from the blue'. Print Edition | Subscribe