Track and Field

Usain Bolt confirms he returned 2008 Olympic gold medal

Usain Bolt has told the Associated Press that he returned the 2008 Olympic 4x100-metre relay gold medal following teammate Nesta Carter's failed drug test.

4x100-metre teammate Nesta Carter failed drug test

Nesta Carter, left, has launched an appeal of a doping ban that cost he and his teammates, including Usain Bolt, right, Olympic gold in the 4x100-metre relay at Beijing 2008. (Anja Niedringhaus/The Associated Press)

Jamaican Usain Bolt says it is rough losing one of his nine Olympic gold medals after relay teammate 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 4x100-metres medal leaves Bolt with eight Olympic golds.

However, he does not think the ruling tarnishes his glittering career record.

"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."

He 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 4x100 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.

  Bolt, 30, says he will retire after the 2017 world championships in London.

Bronze for Brazil 

The Brazilian team — who finished fourth in that race — will now be receiving a bronze medal. 

Though Jamaica may consider an appeal, Brazilian sprinter Bruno de Barros and his teammates have now been named 2008 Olympic medallists — more than eight years after the Games ended. 

"It's a great sense of happiness, despite the time lapse, which isn't really important," Barros told The Associated Press. "The feeling of being an Olympic medallist is the same. In fact, after waiting so long it's worth more."

Three others on the relay team also pick up bronze medals — Jose Carlos Moreira, Sandro Viana, and Vicente Lenilson. Lenilson is the only one with a previous Olympic medal, having won silver in the 4x100 in 2000 in Sydney.

Despite a population of 200 million, and a talent base that shows off in soccer, Brazil has been an also-ran in track and field. It earned only one medal in track and field six months ago at the Rio Olympics — gold in the pole vault for Thiago da Silva.

The Brazilian women's 4x100 team was also promoted to bronze after winner Russia was disqualified in August in a re-testing of doping samples from the same Beijing Olympics.

With files from The Associated Press


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