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Usain Bolt set to join Australian soccer team

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Usain Bolt agreed in principle to join an Australian soccer team in the nation’s top division, the Central Coast Mariners, a soccer agent said Tuesday.

“The deal between the Mariners and Usain Bolt, in principle, has been agreed, subject to a couple of benchmarks, namely a trial and, of course, some marquee funds support from the FFA [Australian Football Federation],” agent Tony Rallis said in a radio interview. “They understand that he has to go through six weeks of a trial.”

The eight-time Olympic champion Bolt has long harbored dreams of playing pro soccer.

Since retiring last summer, the 31-year-old Jamaican has trained alongside club teams in South Africa, Jamaica and Norway, plus had a much-publicized visit with Borussia Dortmund in March. Bolt and Dortmund share an apparel sponsor in Puma.

“This bloke’s an ambitious athlete,” Rallis said. “You know, the A-League needed a hero, and we got Superman. … If he’s competitive, he will lift our A-League profile, he will create dreams of young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy,”

The Central Coast Mariners, based in Gosford in New South Wales, won four matches and lost 15 last season, finishing 10th in the 10-team A-League. There is no relegation in Australian soccer.

“There’s still a lot of work to do in regards to understanding exactly how the deal would work out and how things would look, but things are very positive at the moment,” Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said on Australia’s Seven Network. “It looks like a good six-week trial period that we would be able to facilitate. If all goes well, who knows, he might be lighting up the A-League this season.”

The 2018-19 regular season starts in October.

“It would only be big if he can play and if he can go really, really well,” Mielekamp said. “If he comes, and he’s not up to the level, then it actually has a detrimental effect.”

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Usain Bolt becomes super hero in new ad: ‘I look like a Ninja Turtle’

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Usain Bolt becomes a super hero in his latest commercial for longtime sponsor Virgin Media in the United Kingdom.

In previous ads, Bolt has coached a boy sprinter, raced a short, stocky man, raced “Insane Bolt,” with cameos from Ben-Hur and Bob Costas, and joined Mario BalotelliLexi Thompson and others in a Puma hot-tub commercial.

Bolt has made plenty of headlines this week, from training with his fourth soccer club across three continents this year to the 10th anniversary of his first world record to a ruling on the Olympic gold medal taken away from him due to a teammate’s doping.

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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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