Usain Bolt Beijing Olympic relay gold medal in jeopardy as teammate Nesta Carter allegedly fails 2008 doping re-test
Jamaican Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Nesta Carter has returned a doping violation for a banned stimulant after the re-testing of 454 samples from the 2008 Games, two sources familiar with the case said.
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) said on Friday it had received notification from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that one of its competitors had returned an adverse analytical result but did not name the athlete.
The JOA said results management protocols require that they “maintain confidentiality of the result of all doping controls and the identities involved in the proceedings until it has been determined in a hearing”.
Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president Warren Blake said his organisation had not been notified of any rule violation.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said traces of methylhexanamine were discovered in Carter’s “A” sample, part of a batch of 454 from the 2008 Beijing Games the IOC ordered to be re-tested.
Carter could face sanctions if his “B” sample also tests positive.
Neither Carter, who won the 4x100 metres relay along with compatriots Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater in Beijing, nor his agent replied to repeated requests for comment.
Methylhexanamine has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) prohibited list since 2004 although it was reclassified on the 2011 list as a “specified substance”.
Wada defines specified substances as those that are more susceptible to a “credible, non-doping explanation”.
Sold as a nasal decongestant in the United States until 1983, methylhexanamine has been used more recently as an ingredient in dietary supplements.
The IOC programme of revisiting samples is aimed at using developments in testing techniques to expose traces of drugs that were undetectable in 2008 or 2012.
Doping cases are usually handled by the relevant national federations and national anti-doping agencies but the IOC has decided that any arising from the re-tests will be dealt with directly by them.
“We want to keep dopers away from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro [in August]. This is why we are acting swiftly now,” IOC president Thomas Bach said last week when announcing the re-checking of 265 samples from the 2012 London Olympics.
“I have already appointed a disciplinary commission which has the full power to take all decisions on behalf of the IOC.”
First-leg relay specialist Carter has been a vital member of Jamaica’s dominant squad, helping the Caribbean island win gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 world championships.
The 30-year-old has not run this season, citing a foot injury, but is expected to race in the next few weeks ahead of Jamaica’s Olympic trials from June 30 to July 3.
Historically, the sanction for the use of methylhexanamine has been a suspension of six months to a year and the loss of results from the period concerned.
Sanctions for use of a stimulant can range from a public warning upwards.
Although his relay teammates are not accused of doping, it is possible the IOC could strip them of their gold medals if Carter’s B-sample tests positive.