Carter targets world c'ships while under doping cloud

Jamaica's Nesta Carter bringing his 4x100m relay team home in second place at the Western Relays in Montego Bay. Running for the first time in 1 1/2 years, he is taking it one meet at a time in his bid to qualify for the London World Championships in
Jamaica's Nesta Carter bringing his 4x100m relay team home in second place at the Western Relays in Montego Bay. Running for the first time in 1 1/2 years, he is taking it one meet at a time in his bid to qualify for the London World Championships in August.PHOTO: REUTERS

KINGSTON • Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter, who returned to competition on Saturday as he battles a doping charge, has his eye on the athletics World Championships in London in August.

The 31-year-old, who won an individual bronze in the 100m at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, has been a regular in the all-conquering Jamaican sprint relay teams who have swept all before them since 2008.

But a re-test of his sample from the 2008 Beijing Olympics was found to be positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine, which resulted in Jamaica - and superstar Usain Bolt - being stripped of the gold medal last month.

Minutes after anchoring his MVP TC team to second in the 4x100m relay at the 39th Milo Western Relays in Montego Bay and without mentioning his doping case, he said he was "grateful" to be competing again after being out of action for 17 months.

"Yes the world championships are this year, but we still have a few meets to go before we get there, just one meet at a time," said Carter, who had not raced since a meeting in Rieti, Italy, in September 2015.

Carter, whose appeal against his doping sanction is thought to have been filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, was welcomed back to competition by a loud, appreciative crowd who cheered when his name was mentioned by the meet announcer.

"It is always good running at home and in front of the home fans and you try and put on a good show for the fans," said Carter, who was also part of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team who won gold at the 2012 London Games, and was cleared to run days earlier after world governing body the IAAF ruled that he had not been banned despite the retroactive positive test from 2008. "I haven't run in almost two years, you can just imagine how the legs feel, especially on the anchor leg."

Other Olympic champions were on show at the NYRR Millrose Games in Manhattan on Saturday.

Olympic women's pole vault gold medallist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece cleared a season-best 4.82m to beat American Sandi Morris (4.72m) and reprise their one-two finish at the Rio Games.

And Rio 400m champion Shaunae Miller, 22, celebrated her nuptials with a victory in the 300m.

A week ago, she was frolicking on the beach in her homeland of the Bahamas and getting married to Estonian decathlete Maicel Uibo. But she got right back to work, clocking a season-best equalling 35.71 seconds.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Carter targets world c'ships while under doping cloud'. Print Edition | Subscribe