Amid testing times for the sport, Usain Bolt says he is clean and hopes to help people forget recent doping revelations with his performances on the track
Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has admitted that recent doping revelations concerning fellow sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell will set the sport back, but that he is concentrating on his performances on the track to help people forget what has happened.
American 100m record-holder Gay and Jamaica’s former 100m world record holder Powell are among a number of athletes to have recently returned positive drugs tests, and although fellow Jamaican Bolt agrees the revelations could damage people’s perceptions of the sport, he says his focus is on performing well ahead of the IAAF World Championships.
“Definitely it’s going to set us back a little bit, but as a person I can’t really focus on this,” he said. “I still have the World Championships ahead of me and everybody is stepping up their game so I have to focus on that.
“I’m trying to work hard, run fast, and hopefully help people to forget what’s happened.”
Speaking at a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games where he will run the 100m on Friday and the 4x100m relay on Saturday, Bolt also stressed he is clean and listed some of his previous achievements as proof of how he continues to grow as an athlete through hard work and talent.
In response to a question about fans of the sport losing confidence and whether he could be trusted, Bolt replied: “How long have you been following Usain Bolt? If you were following me since 2002 you would know that I have been doing phenomenal things since I was 15.
“I ran the world junior record at 18, worth youth record at 17, I’ve broken every record there is to break in every event I’ve ever done. I’ve proven myself since I was 15 so right now I am just living out my dream.”
He added: “I was made to inspire people and to run and I was given a gift and that’s what I do. I am confident in myself and my team and the people that I work with. I know I am clean so I am just going to continue running and use my talent.”
The 26-year-old will line up in the 100m on Friday alongside the likes of James Dasaolu, who became the second-fastest Briton in history earlier this month when he clocked 9.91 over 100m at the British Championships.
Also speaking at the press conference and responding to questions on doping, Dasaolu reinforced that education remains key.
“It’s not the best when it (doping) happens in your sport,” he said. “At British Athletics our main concern is about educating our athletes. We’ve got a nutritionist, anything you take you see him. It’s all about education.”