By Joohan Kim
The man who broke the world record as the first sprinter to sweep three gold medals at three Olympic Games has lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals due to a doping case involving Jamaican teammate Nesta Carter. That man is Usain Bolt. According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Carter tested positive for methylhexaneamine, which is a banned stimulant, in re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
I suppose some people may wonder why the whole team was stripped of their medals. Unfortunately, Olympic rules state that the entire team must be stripped of their medals and titles if one member is tested positive. While this is usually the case, there have been some exceptions. For instance, American runner Marion Jones was stripped of her two relay medals from the Sydney Games for doping offences, but her teammates were able to protect theirs after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In an interview with the Guardian last year, Bolt said, “It’s heartbreaking because over the years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion – but it’s just one of those things,” he said. “Things happen in life, so when it’s confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal I’d have to give it back, it’s not a problem for me.”
Usain Bolt fans have voiced their concerns that this incident might burden Bolt as he starts his final season at the World Championships in London this summer. On the other hand, Bolt has remained calm and controlled by saying that his legacy has not been tarnished by having to hand back one of his nine Olympic gold medals.
“I’m not happy, but it’s just one of those things that happen in life,” he added.
*Additional information was taken from BBC and The Guardian.
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