• Athletics

Bolt joins calls for better anti-doping controls

ESPN staff
July 3, 2013

Usain Bolt has declared himself clean of performance-enhancing drugs in the wake of the latest anti-doping test to be failed by a Jamaican sprinter.

The Olympic 100m and 200m champion also echoed the sentiments of his coach Glen Mills, who believes an anti-doping laboratory in Jamaica would help in the prevention of doping among the nation's athletes, whether taken by accident or by design.

"I am clean, I'm sure about that," Bolt told the press ahead of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris. "I welcome people to test me every day if necessary to prove it to the world. I have no problem."

Reigning women's 200m world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown became the latest high-profile Jamaican athlete to fail a drugs test after a banned diuretic was found in her 'A' sample in June. The two-time former Olympic champion said she was "in shock" over the test result and can reportedly expect to serve a six-month ban should the 'B' sample also return positive.

Campbell-Brown is the latest in a worrying trend among Jamaican track and field athletes - particularly among sprinters, many of whom, like Bolt, are world-beaters. Two-time and reigning Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was banned for six months in 2009 after her coach Stephen Francis gave her the banned painkiller Oxycodone he had used to deal with kidney stones.

That same year, Bolt's training partner and reigning 100m world champion Yohan Blake was banned for three months after testing positive for the stimulant 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine, while 1984 Olympic 100m silver medallist Ray Stewart was handed a lifetime ban for trafficking performance-enhancing drugs in 2010.

While Stewart's ban proves that anti-doping measures remain vital to the integrity of the sport, Bolt's coach Mills believes a lab in Jamaica would prevent otherwise innocent athletes failing tests for using tainted or poorly labelled supplements and medicines. For his part, Bolt undergoes his own testing regimen.

"Everybody makes their own decisions," Bolt told The Times. "I can't speak for anybody else. I get tested regularly in Jamaica, so maybe it would work out easier for them to get the samples [if there was a laboratory].

"The only thing I'm not happy about is when the testers knock on my door at 6am," he quipped. "I won't even risk a cold remedy."

Bolt is running in both the 100m and the 200m at the Stade de France ahead of the World Championships in Moscow this summer, and will face Tyson Gay, who has run the two fastest times of 2013.

Asked what his motivation was after defending all three of his Olympic sprint titles during London 2012, the 26-year-old said he was determined to exit the sport as a dominant force even as the next generation of athletes begins to emerge.

"I asked Michael Johnson why he retired - he said he'd won everything and dominated everything," Bolt continued. "I want to be that person. There are always going to be younger, faster kids coming up, but I enjoy competing against the best and look forward to beating them.

"This is my chance to compete against younger athletes and also a fully fit Tyson, because he's been injured a lot before and now he's in great shape."

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