Usain Bolt stripped of 2008 Olympic gold after team-mate fails drugs test
Jamaica team stripped of 4x100m title from Beijing 2008 after Nesta Carter found guilty
Jamaica’s Michael Frater, Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter and Usain Bolt posing with their gold medals during the medal ceremony for the men’s 4x100m relay at the National stadium as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Photo: Getty Images
Usain Bolt has been stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals after it was confirmed that his 4 x 100 metres relay team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance at the Beijing Olympics.
It means Bolt can no longer claim to have done the “triple-treble” – gold in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Bolt has not commented on the news but last year he said he would accept the IOC’s verdict if they stripped him of his medal. “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.
“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.”
Traces of the banned stimulant Methylhexanamine were found in Carter’s sample when 454 frozen blood and urine samples from the 2008 Games were retested by the International Olympic Committee last year but it took until Wednesday for the IOC to confirm the news.
The 31-year-old Carter has been a vital member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team for nearly a decade, running the first leg as they won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 world championships.
Carter, who is also the sixth fastest 100m runner of all time, helped Jamaica set a world-record time of 37.10 seconds in Beijing, as Bolt won the first of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m treble during his first Olympics.
All four members of Jamaica’s 4x100m squad in 2008, which was made up of Bolt, Carter, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, have now been stripped of their medals. The decision means that Trinidad and Tobago’s team of Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman and Marc Burns are promoted to the gold, with Japan taking silver and Brazil bronze.
Methylhexanamine has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code prohibited list since 2004, although it was reclassified on the 2011 list as a “specified substance”.
Wada defines specified substances as those that are more susceptible to a “credible, non-doping explanation”. Sold as a nasal decongestant in the US until 1983, Methylhexanamine has been used more recently as an ingredient in dietary supplements.
Historically, the sanction for the use of Methylhexanamine has been a suspension of six months to a year and the loss of results from the period concerned.
The Russian Tatiana Lebedeva, who competed in the women’s triple jump event and the women’s long jump event in which she ranked second has also been disqualified from the 2008 Games. Re-analysis of Lebedeva’s samples from Beijing 2008 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.