Russian doping scandal

Ruling against Russia athletes will scare off drug cheats, says Usain Bolt

Sprint king believes the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s rejection of an appeal by 67 track and field competitors sends a strong message on doping

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2016, 12:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 11:05am

Sprint king Usain Bolt believes the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling on Russia’s drug cheats will scare athletes and send a strong message that doping won’t be tolerated.

CAS on Thursday rejected an appeal by 67 Russian athletes seeking to overturn an IAAF doping ban on them competing at the Rio Olympics.The IAAF is the world track and field governing body.

A decision on totally banning Russia from the Rio Games, which start on August 5, could come this weekend when the International Olympic Committee executive holds a conference call and Jamaican star Bolt, a six-time Olympic champion, has no doubt a strong stance is the right response as athletics tries to clean up its act.

“This will scare a lot of people, or send a strong message that the sport is serious about cleaning up,” Bolt said yesterday. “It’s sad, but rules are rules. I don’t make the rules, I don’t make the decisions. I just have to go along with it. If you feel like banning the whole team is the right action, then I’m all for it.”

Meanwhile, Bolt insisted he is ready for his first 200 metres of the season in the Anniversary Games in London on Friday night as he tests his fitness ahead of the Rio Olympics

Bolt faces a key stage of his fitness recovery when he races for the first time since pulling out of the Jamaican trials with a hamstring strain.

“I’m good, I’m feeling good, been training good now, I’m happy with where I am,” he said.

“My hamstring is good, I have no issue right now. I know I’m in good shape.”

Bolt’s outing at the Olympic Stadium, the scene of his three Olympic gold medal wins at ­London 2012 in the 100m, 200m and sprint relay, will be his last ­before the Rio Games. The 29-year-old has set his sights on an unprecedented “triple triple” of Olympic crowns in what will likely be his last Games.

“I’ll definitely be there, I’m excited to go,” Bolt said. “This is where history is going to be made, I’m excited to put on a show for the entire world to see. This is my final Olympics, it’s a big one.”

Despite doubters questioning his fitness, Bolt points to his triumph at last year’s World Championships in Beijing when he trailed Justin Gatlin in the 100m and 200m world rankings, only to leave China with the complete set of gold medals.

“I’m definitely a tough competitor,” Bolt said. “Last year Gatlin was just not ready, it was the first time he was being chased.

“It was hard for him, but this year is not going to be the same, I am in much better shape, so I won’t leave it to the last second.”