LONDON: London Olympics chief organiser Sebastian Coe said he was satisfied that double sprint champion Usain Bolt and his Jamaican teammates were being properly drug-tested outside of races.
Coe was dragged into the row that erupted after Bolt said following his 200m victory on Thursday he had lost all respect for Carl Lewis because the US sprint legend has doubted the toughness of Jamaica’s drug-testing procedures.
“I haven’t heard those remarks but my admiration for both Lewis and Bolt is undiminished,” said Coe, who has admitted he wants to become president of the athletics world governing body IAAF in the next few years. “I have no reason to believe that they are not testing out of competition. I think the IAAF... (in our) domestic and international testing arrangements have been very comfortable about how Jamaica and the Jamaican track and field federations are upholding those values and protocols.”
In his post-race press conference after becoming the first athlete in history to retain both Olympic sprint titles, Bolt said he had ‘no respect’ for Lewis, who won nine Olympic golds spanning four Games in his career.
“The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to be saying something like that about other athletes,” said the 25-year-old Jamaican. “I think he’s just looking for attention really because nobody really talks about him.”
Lewis made his comments about Bolt after the Jamaican achieved the 100m-200m double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“No one is accusing anyone,” said the American. “I’m not saying they’ve done anything for certain... I don’t know. But how dare anybody feel that there shouldn’t be scrutiny, especially in our sport?”
The American visited the London Games, but said he was more interested in watching minor sports such as BMX racing than the athletics.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.