(AP) Usain Bolt: Doping scandals ‘set us back’
By ROB HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
Usain Bolt believes the recent doping scandals in sprinting hurt the sport and insists he’s running clean.
The world’s fastest man stopped short of condemning fellow Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson or American rival Tyson Gay, whose failed doping tests have left the sport in turmoil ahead of worlds.
Bolt said it won’t affect his preparations for the upcoming world championships In Moscow.
He’ll run the 100 meters Friday and 4×100 relay Saturday at the meet in London’s Olympic Stadium, which marks the one-year anniversary of the opening ceremony.
In his first public comments since news of the high-profile doping cases broke on July 14, Bolt promised that he won’t be the next sprint star to be embroiled in a scandal.
If the recent cases have cast doubt about Bolt’s own integrity, the 100- and 200-meter world record-holder asked skeptics to check his record.
Powell and Simpson tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrone at Jamaica’s national championships in June. Discus thrower Allison Randall and two other athletes also returned positives for banned substances at the same meet.
Bolt said he reached out through text message with Powell after the positive test was announced.
Powell was the last man to hold the 100-meter world record before Bolt broke it in 2008. He also helped the Jamaicans to the 4×100-meter relay gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.
In almost 20 minutes with reporters, Bolt avoided any direct criticism of his fellow athletes.
Both Powell and Gay claim they failed drug tests because they trusted people they didn’t know well.
Bolt doesn’t doubt his inner circle and was astounded by the suggestion he could inadvertently be given a banned supplement and test positive.
Bolt was asked about the severity of doping sanctions, whether a two-year ban was too lenient.
While Bolt was speaking Friday, another doping case emerged involving a Jamaican sportsman.
The Caribbean island’s soccer federation said it was notified by FIFA that a player tested positive for a banned substance after a World Cup qualifying match against Honduras on June 11, which Jamaica lost 2-0. The player and the substance involved were not identified.