If Usain Bolt had lost his 2008 Olympic relay medal before the Rio Games, instead of last month, maybe he would have considered trying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Maybe if it had come before the Olympics, maybe it would have taken away a little from me, and then I would have thought about ,” Bolt said in a CNN interview published Monday of dropping from nine Olympic golds to eight due to teammate Nesta Carter‘s doping, “but the fact that I got the chance to say, ‘the triple-triple,’ kind of made me feel good.”
In Rio, Bolt completed his “triple-triple” at his final Olympics, sweeping the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at a third straight Games. Bolt raced with the knowledge that Carter had failed retests of 2008 Olympic samples but had yet to receive any punishment.
Five months later, the triple-triple was no more.
On Jan. 25, the IOC announced teammate Nesta Carter was retroactively disqualified from the Beijing Games. Carter was on Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team in Beijing, so the entire team was stripped of medals, including Bolt.
Carter is appealing his punishment.
Carter also joined Bolt on gold-medal-winning 4x100m relays at the 2012 Olympics and the world championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Carter was not disqualified from those meets like he was the 2008 Beijing Games.
Bolt said he had no fear or worry about the possibility of having to return more relay gold medals.
“Even if I lose all my relay gold medals, for me, I did what I had to do, my personal goals,” Bolt said in the CNN interview that appeared to take place two weeks ago in Monaco. “That’s what counts.”
Bolt also said he had not spoken to Carter since the ruling was handed down.
“My friends have asked me what I’m going to say [to Carter], but I don’t know,” Bolt said, repeating that he had no hard feelings toward Carter.
Bolt’s next scheduled meet is the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston on June 10, but he could (and likely will given his past) sign up for another race between now and then.
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