Bolt says suspension will 'scare' athletes from doping

Jamaica's Usain Bolt will be eager to prove his fitness at the London Anniversary Games today before the Rio Olympics, where he will be making a bid for a triple-triple triumph of gold medals.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt will be eager to prove his fitness at the London Anniversary Games today before the Rio Olympics, where he will be making a bid for a triple-triple triumph of gold medals.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Usain Bolt has welcomed the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold the ban on 68 Russian athletes competing at the Olympics, saying it will "scare a lot of people and send a strong message" to anyone thinking about doping.

The Jamaican, winner of six Olympic gold medals, said the recent decisions show that "if you cheat or if you go against the rules" then "serious action" will be taken.

A decision on banning the entire Russian contingent from the Rio Games, which start on Aug 5, could come this weekend and Bolt has no doubt a strong stance is the right response as athletics tries to clean up its act.

"It's sad, but rules are rules," he said. "I don't make the rules, I don't make the decisions. I just have to go along with it. If you feel like banning the whole team is the right action, then I'm all for it."

The world's fastest man was speaking in London ahead of a Diamond League meet where he will compete in the 200m event today.

He insisted he is fit and ready to race in the Anniversary Games, having pulled out of this month's Jamaican trials with a hamstring strain.

"I'm feeling good, been training good now, I'm happy with where I am," the 29-year-old said. "My hamstring is good, I have no issue right now. I know I'm in good shape."

His outing at the Olympic Stadium, the scene of his three Olympic gold-medal wins at London 2012 in the 100m, 200m and sprint relay, will be his last before the Rio Games. He is bidding to become the first to win an unprecedented "triple triple" of Olympic crowns.

"I'll definitely be there, I'm excited to go," the Jamaican said. "This is where history is going to be made. I'm excited to put on a show for the entire world to see. This is my final Olympics, it's a big one."

Despite doubters questioning his fitness, Bolt points to his triumph at last year's World Championships in Beijing when he trailed Justin Gatlin in the 100m and 200m world rankings, only to leave China with the complete set of gold medals.

"I'm definitely a tough competitor," the Jamaican said. "Last year Gatlin was just not ready, it was the first time he was being chased. It was hard for him, but this year is not going to be the same. I am in much better shape, so I won't leave it to the last second."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2016, with the headline 'Bolt says suspension will 'scare' athletes from doping'. Print Edition | Subscribe