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Usain Bolt will not get 9th gold medal back

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Usain Bolt won’t be getting back his ninth Olympic gold medal.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judging panel on Thursday dismissed Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter’s appeal against disqualification from the 2008 Beijing Olympics for a positive doping test discovered eight years later.

“The rules are the rules but at the end of the day the joy of winning that relay gold Medal in Beijing 2008 with my teammates will last forever,” was posted on Bolt’s social media with a photo of the relay team with the gold medals they no longer own.

Carter ran the opening leg in the 4x100m relay when Bolt took the baton third and helped Jamaica win in a world record of 37.10 seconds.

“I have always been a clean athlete and I would never knowingly do anything to risk my reputation or the reputation of my country, or that would cause pain to [relay teammates] Usain, Asafa [Powell], Michael [Frater] and the Jamaican people,” Carter said in a statement, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

“The substance that was in my body is now recognized as having been a contaminant in many products and as CAS accepts, it was not named on the Prohibited List in 2008 and only became known after the 2008 Olympic Games. Even though I must take responsibility for what has happened, it is difficult to accept that I could be in breach of the rules when, even if I had known I consumed the substance (which I did not), I could not have known at the time that the substance was prohibited. I am deeply sorry for what has happened and the pain and loss it brings.”

In fresh analysis of Beijing samples by the International Olympic Committee in 2016, Carter tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine. Jamaica was disqualified and stripped of the relay title.

Carter is correct that methylhexaneamine was not named on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substances list in 2008 (it is now), but, according to the IOC:

Methylhexaneamine fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants. Under the then applicable system, stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has confirmed that the presence or use of substances falling within the scope of generic definitions of the Prohibited List, can be used as a basis of establishing anti-doping rules violations.

The CAS panel said it “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the IOC (disciplinary) decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures.”

The verdict was expected, and spoils Bolt’s perfect Olympic career of three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at three consecutive Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

With Jamaica’s disqualification confirmed again, the gold medals will go the Trinidad and Tobago team of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Aaron Armstrong. The IOC should upgrade Japan to silver and Brazil to bronze.

Carter, now 32, was also on Bolt’s team for three straight world championships relay gold medals in 2011, 2013 and 2015. They were also teammates when Jamaica set another 4x100m world record in 2012 at the London Olympics in a time of 36.84 seconds.

Dozens of athletes tested positive for banned drugs in an IOC-ordered reanalysis program using new and more accurate tests on samples stored since the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

Carter’s case was the only one involving Jamaica.

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2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

Boston Marathon
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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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