Bolt upset over drug test as Europe offer emerges

SYDNEY • Sprint legend Usain Bolt has yet to earn a professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners and is still on trial with the A-League side, but that has not exempted him from anti-doping policies.

Bolt was quick to express his displeasure on social media yesterday despite the policy being applied across the board, after being handed a drug testing notice as he bids to launch a football career in Australia.

"So guys, I've retired from track and field looking to become a footballer but look at this," the 32-year-old, who hung up his track spikes last year, said in an Instagram video as he zoomed in on the notice.

The demand for the out-of-competition test - to collect urine and blood - appears to have been issued by Football Federation Australia.

"How am I going to get a drug test today? I'm not even a professional footballer yet. Seriously," said a disgruntled Bolt.

"So I asked the lady, 'Why am I getting drug tested when I haven't signed for a club yet?' and she said they told her I'm an elite athlete so I have to get tested. Okay then."

He is eligible to be tested under the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority guidelines, which define an athlete as a "person who competes in sport" if "the sport has an anti-doping policy".

The eight-time Olympic champion and 100m and 200m world-record holder made a compelling case for himself on Friday in his quest to earn a full-time deal after scoring two goals for the Mariners in a pre-season friendly.

Bolt has been handed a chance to train with the New South Wales side for an indefinite period in order to pursue his dream.

And that ambition may soon be realised, with the Daily Telegraph yesterday reporting that an as yet unnamed southern European club had made Bolt an "unconditional and formal two-year offer", having been impressed with that showing.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian agent Tony Rallis confirmed that Bolt had received a contract.

The Australian also corroborated those stories, saying that he could soon depart for Europe, which would bring an end to his short-lived experiment Down Under.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2018, with the headline 'Bolt upset over drug test as Europe offer emerges'. Print Edition | Subscribe