Usain Bolt Stripped Of Gold Medal After Teammate Loses Drug Appeal

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that a re-test of a sample from Nesta Carter, Bolt's teammate, had correctly determined he had used a banned substance.

A teammate of Usain Bolt who was part of a relay team with the iconic Olympic sprinter has lost an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which means that Bolt, himself, will not regain a medal that he lost.

Nesta Carter was part of a four-man relay race that included Bolt and two other Jamaican athletes in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The four won the 4x100-meter race, but they lost their gold medal status after Carter tested positive for a stimulant drug called methylhexaneamine, which is a banned substance in the sport.

Bolt had won three gold medals for the 2008 Olympics, winning in the men’s 100m and 200m individual races, as well as the relay race with Carter. That relay race had also set a world record for the 4x100m.

But the CAS ruled on Thursday that it could not overlook an International Olympic Committee report from 2016 that found Carter had used the drug. The CAS “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the IOC [disciplinary] decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures,” it said in a statement.

As a result of the team losing its gold medal status, the 4x100m team from Trinidad and Tobago will be awarded the gold, as it had won silver in that year.

It should be noted that Carter’s 2016 test wasn’t from that year — the IOC had re-tested samples he had given in 2008, the year he, Bolt, and their teammates had set the world record. The IOC determined Carter’s samples from that year tested positive for drugs.

The result has to be heartbreaking for the nation and the team, but especially for Bolt. In every race he had run in his Olympic career, Bolt had received a gold medal. Now, because of his teammate’s bad decision, his record will be tarnished.

Hopefully the sports world will see past Carter’s error in judgment and recognize Bolt for who he is: an impeccable athlete who defied the odds. He should be remembered as such, even though he didn’t get the gold medal in one of his races. He did, after all, win it in so many others.

 Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Nacho Doce/Reuters

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