Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals and his perfect triple treble of Games’ sprint victories after team mate Nesta Carter was found guilty of doping at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Carter was found in re-tests of his sample to have taken the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday, meaning Jamaica’s 4×100 metres relay team must give back their gold medals.
Carter’s lawyer, Stuart Stimpson, said the sprinter would be lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“Mr. Carter will be taking his appeal to CAS,” Stimpson told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday.
Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time, having won an unprecedented treble of consecutive golds in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay in three straight Olympics.
He is also credited with being a key factor in maintaining a global interest in athletics at a time when the sport has been ravaged by doping scandals and a drop in popularity.
Bolt was sleeping after a training session and unavailable to comment on Wednesday but in June, when sources familiar with the case told Reuters that Carter had failed a doping test, he was philosophical about the prospect of losing a gold medal.
“It’s heartbreaking (the positive test) 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,” Bolt had told Reuters.
“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.”
Trinidad and Tobago are set to be promoted to gold in the Beijing 4×100, in which Jamaica set a then world record, with Japan moving up to silver and Brazil earning bronze.
The IOC also stripped Russian Tatiana Lebedeva of her long jump and triple jump silver medals from the Beijing Games after she tested positive for a steroid.
A reallocation of medals is subject to any further results from the IOC anti-doping re-testing programme. The international athletics’ federation (IAAF) is responsible for modifying race results and sanctioning athletes.