Usain Bolt feels his world records are safe from Justin Gatlin.
“What if Justin Gatlin breaks your world record?” Bolt was asked in a CNN interview.
Bolt shook his head and quickly, yet softly, responded.
“I don’t think he is going to break my world record,” said Bolt, who owns the 100m world record (9.58 seconds) and the 200m world record (19.19).
Is an athlete who has been found guilty twice of doping (Gatlin has failed two drug tests*) worthy of Bolt’s world record?
“Tough question,” Bolt said. “If he did it clean, sure. If he didn’t, no. … But I don’t think he’s going to break it. And if he does, I’ll break it back.”
*Gatlin has failed two drug tests, though the first in 2001 he said was a result of a medication he had been taking since age 9 for attention-deficit disorder.
Bolt, whose best 100m time since the start of 2014 is 9.98 in three races, also said his goal is to get into the kind of physical shape that would allow him to run 9.6.
Gatlin, 33 and five years removed from a four-year doping ban, ran a personal-best 9.74 on May 15. He’s the only man to run 9.80 or faster since the start of 2014, which he’s done six times.
Gatlin and Bolt have not raced against each other since 2013 and likely will not do so until the World Championships in Beijing (Aug. 22-30).