Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt returned his 2008 Beijing Olympic 4x100m relay gold medal Friday and would help finance an appeal to Nesta Carter’s doping punishment, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.
Bolt told the newspaper that while he is not pleased at having to surrender the medal, he will not allow the situation to distract from his focus in this planned farewell season and says it will not impact his athletics legacy.
“It’s rough that I have to give back one of my medals and I already gave it back because it was of course required by the IOC,” Bolt told The Gleaner.
“I’m not happy about it but it’s just one of those things that happen in life.”
Bolt, Carter, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater were on the Jamaican relay squad that was disqualified Wednesday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after Carter tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine.
All of them surrendered their medals on Friday.
“I can’t allow that to deter me from my focus this season, so I am focused, but I am not pleased about the situation,” Bolt told the newspaper.
The loss of the relay gold deprives Bolt of one of his “triple triples” — he won gold in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m at Beijing and repeated the unprecedented feat in London in 2012 and again in Rio last year.
“I think I’ve still accomplished a lot. This hasn’t changed what I have done throughout my career. I have worked hard and pushed and done things that no one has done before. I have won three gold medals over the 100m and 200m, which no one has ever done before.”
When it comes to fighting the doping charge, Bolt said he is willing to put his money behind Carter’s appeal if necessary, a pitch to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“That’s up to my management. There are a lot of variables,” Bolt said. “So we will discuss that and see where we go from there, but if it’s necessary (I will help).”