Usain Bolt was perfect in his three trips to the Olympics, but now… he’s not.
Instead of his nine gold medals, he’ll have to settle for eight, thanks to his teammate and fellow 4×100 runner Nesta Carter’s use of a banned substance. Carter ran the first leg of the race and Bolt ran the third, which not only aided in them standing atop the podium but also broke a world record at the 2012 Games in Beijing.
But with doping regulations, the International Olympic Committee decided to retest samples from the 2008 and 2012 games with newer, more reliable methods and Carter was found to have traces of a banned stimulant in his system. When it came to light, Carter filed an appeal, but that appeal was dismissed in the Court of Arbitration for Sports, based in Switzerland. That dismissal disqualifies the entire 2008 Jamaican relay which not only includes Bolt but Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, too.
The CAS’ testing discovered that “the reanalysis of Nesta Carter’s sample collected following the race at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games confirmed the presence of methylhexaneamine.”
Bolt will still go down as one of the best sprinters of all time, despite losing that one medal. He’s still eight for nine, and his dominance in the individual events will surely go down in history as some of the most iconic races in track history. What he’s done for the sport in popularity and exposure has yet to be matched.
The retired runner took to Twitter to address the medal stripping. But he didn’t seem too distraught as he posted a picture of himself and the other three: “The rules are the rules, but at the end of the day the joy of winning that relay gold Medal in Beijing 2008 with my teammates will last forever,” he said.