LONDON: Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt insisted he was a ‘clean’ athlete and that fans could trust him despite recent failed drugs tests by the Jamaican’s sprint rivals Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay.
Bolt was addressing a London news conference yesterday, ahead of his return to the Olympic track today where he will run in the 100 metres at the Diamond League Anniversary Games.
“I was made to inspire people,” said the 100m and 200m world record holder. “I was given a gift, I know I’m clean.”
Bolt’s compatriot Powell, the former 100m world record holder, tested positive for a banned stimulant at Jamaica’s national trials last month and is still waiting for the analysis of his ‘B’ sample that will confirm the original finding.
Meanwhile, US sprinter Gay also tested positive for the same stimulant in an out-of-competition test in May.
But Bolt refused to condemn either of his rivals.
“There are a lot of details to be discussed; I’m just waiting to see what’s going on. I spoke to Asafa, I told him to stay strong. You have to be very careful as an athlete; there are a lot of things on the banned list.”
Bolt has never failed a drugs test and most observers of athletics agree, such is his stellar reputation, that it would be a potentially terminal disaster for the sport if he did test positive for a banned substance.
Asked how track and field fans could ‘trust’ him, Bolt replied, “If you’ve been following me since 2002 you know I’ve been doing phenomenal things since I was 15, I’ve broken every record there is to break. I’ve shown throughout the years I’ve always been great.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.
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