Usain Bolt Stripped of 2008 Olympic Gold Medal as Teammate Fails Drug Test

Nesta Carter (far left), Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell of Jamaica receive their gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. (Getty Images)

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has been stripped of one of his nine Olympic medals after one of his teammates on the 2008 gold-medal-winning 4×100 relay squad tested positive for a banned substance.

The world’s fastest man can no longer lay claim to the title of “triple-triple Olympic champion” after Nesta Carter was caught out in the re-analysis of urine and blood samples from the Beijing Games.

Carter, the sixth-fastest 100-meter runner of all time, ran the opening leg of the Olympic final eight years ago as Jamaica stormed to victory in a then world-record 37.10 seconds, helping Bolt sweep the sprint titles as he burst onto the global stage at his first Games.

However, news emerged last summer that Carter was on a provisional list of 31 athletes who failed a retest of their doping samples, which took place using the latest scientific techniques in order to weed out drugs cheats ahead of Rio 2016.

Carter did not compete in Rio and has been fighting to clear his name, but the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 25, confirmed his sample had tested positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.

All four members of the Jamaican relay team, which also included Michael Frater and Asafa Powell, have  been stripped of their medals, ruining Bolt’s perfect record of victories in the 100, 200 and 4×100 in three Games.

Silver medalist Trinidad & Tobago will likely upgraded to gold, with Japan boosted to silver and Brazil to bronze.

Speaking last summer, Bolt described the Carter situation as “heartbreaking,” but said he would have no problem giving back a medal if the positive test was confirmed.

“It’s heartbreaking [the positive test] because over the years, you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion. … But it’s just one of those things,” he said.

“Things happen in life, so when it’s confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal, I’d have to give it back. It’s not a problem for me.”

With a 100-meter personal best of 9.78 seconds, set in 2010, Carter has been a vital member of the all-conquering Jamaican 4×100 team, which has won three Olympic golds and four world titles over the past nine years. Carter was present for all but two of those gold medals, while he also won individual bronze in the 100 at the 2013 World Championships.

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