Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell (Jamaica’s 2008 Men’s 4×100-meter relay team) will have to return their gold medal, medallist pins and diplomas as news broke that Carter tested positive for a banned substance.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday that Carter tested positive for methylhexaneamine in re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His was one of 454 selected doping samples retested by the IOC last year, and has been found to contain the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. He ran the first leg for Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team in Beijing, China.
The team won in a then-world record of 37.10 seconds, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan, who could have their medals upgraded. Brazil would then receive bronze.
This spells bad news for Bolt who completed an unprecedented ‘triple triple’ in Rio last summer. He won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay to add to his successes in the same events in 2008 and 2012.
Bolt told the Jamaica Gleaner: “For years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and you work hard to be a champion, but it’s one of those things.
According to the AP, Carter testified by video conference to an IOC disciplinary hearing held in Lausanne on October 17.
The IOC’s ruling states that Carter noted he was taking supplements in 2008 “advised in this respect by his coach, Stephen Francis.”
“The athlete explained that he had given several samples for doping controls whilst he was taking Cell Tech and Nitro Tech before the 2008 Olympic Games and he had never tested positive for a prohibited substance,” the detailed verdict stated.
“He, therefore, did not believe that these supplements could contain prohibited substances. He did not understand how methylhexaneamine could have been found in 2016.”
Though methylhexaneamine was not specifically named on the 2008 list of prohibited substances, it “fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants,” the three-member IOC panel wrote.
Carter can appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, the IOC panel already anticipated one challenge in its written verdict.
“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 verdict said.
It was reported by Reuters in last June that Carter’s A sample had been found to contain methylhexanamine, which has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) prohibited list since 2004.
Carter, 31, was also part of the squad that won the event in London five years ago and helped Jamaica win at the World Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.