Nesta Carter ran the first leg of that race, with Bolt going third in an effort that not only got Jamaica a gold medal but set a world record. However, in an effort to prevent dopers from competing at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee had dozens of athletes’ samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games retested, using improved methods, and Carter was found to have had traces of a banned stimulant in his system.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, dismissed Carter’s appeal Thursday, which disqualifies the entire 2008 Jamaican relay team, including Asafa Powell and Michael Frater. In a statement, the CAS said a three-member panel, comprised of officials from Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom, “concluded that the reanalysis of Nesta Carter’s sample collected following the race at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games confirmed the presence of methylhexaneamine.”
The panel “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the IOC DP decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures,” the CAS said.
“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,” Bolt wrote on social media Thursday, posting a photo of himself with the other three.
Thus the Olympic record books will not show that Bolt went 9 for 9 in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 relay over the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games. That, of course, won’t do much to sully his reputation as the greatest sprinter, and arguably the greatest track and field athlete, of all time, particularly given his dominance in the individual events.
Bolt holds world records in all three of those events, setting the marks in the 100 (9.58 seconds) and 200 (19.19) in 2009, while his Jamaican squad — including Carter — posted a time of 36.84 at the 2012 Olympics. The 31-year-old also holds the record in the 150 (14.35), although that distance is not formally recognized by track’s governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations.
In addition to offering an upbeat comment Thursday on the lost gold medal, Bolt took to social media to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first time he set the record in the 100. He went on to better that mark 10 weeks later with a time of 9.69 at the 2008 Olympics before running his 9.58 the following year at the world championships in Berlin.
With the disqualification of the Jamaicans, the 2008 Olympic gold medals in the men’s 4×100 go to Trinidad and Tobago, which finished second on the track in Beijing, with Japan getting silver and Brazil moving up to bronze.
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