Usain Bolt lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals after one of his Jamaican 4x100m relay teammates, Nesta Carter, was stripped of his 2008 Olympic participation for doping by the International Olympic Committee.
“The Jamaican team is disqualified from the men’s 4x100m relay event,” the IOC said Wednesday. “The corresponding medals, medalist pins and diplomas are withdrawn and shall be returned.”
Carter, part of winning 4x100m relay teams with Bolt in 2008 and 2012, failed retests of Beijing Olympic doping samples for a banned stimulant in 2016. The prohibited substance was the stimulant methylhexaneamine.
Bolt said in June that he was “not too pleased” about the situation.
“It’s heartbreaking. Over the years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion,” Bolt said then. “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 to me.”
In Rio at his final Olympics, Bolt tied Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi for the most Olympic track and field titles at nine. Now, he falls one below the record.
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The IOC decided last year to retest 2008 Olympic samples, with better testing advancements, to possibly detect banned substances that weren’t identified by 2008 testing methods.
In all, 80 athletes from the Beijing Olympics have been disqualified for doping, according to Olympic historians. More than 40 medals have been stripped.
It’s believed Carter, who has not competed since September 2015, has not publicly commented on the case since it became public knowledge last spring.
In June, “Carter alleged that he had never ingested or taken a substance known as or containing methylhexaneamine,” and later claimed that a retest of a 2008 sample in 2016 was “unduly late,” according to the IOC. The IOC can order to retest samples for up to 10 years after an Olympics, upped from eight years in 2015.
The Jamaican 4x100m relay team took gold in a then-world record time in Beijing, capping Bolt’s breakout Olympics with three world records in three events.
The other members of the relay were Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, plus Dwight Thomas in the qualifying heat.
Trinidad and Tobago took silver, Japan bronze and Brazil was fourth in the 2008 Olympic 4x100m. The IOC has requested that track and field’s international governing body modify the results after Jamaica’s disqualification.
Also Wednesday, the IOC stripped Russian Tatyana Lebedeva of her 2008 Olympic long jump and triple jump silver medals for a positive retest of a doping sample from the Beijing Games.
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