Usain Bolt says his hair can be tested for drugs any time

The six-time Olympic gold medallist welcomes more testing

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The Independent Online

Usain Bolt has "no problem" with plans by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to test the hair follicles of athletes in a bid to clamp down on drug cheats in sport.

The Jamaican sprinter said: "I think that any way you can crack down on drug use in sports, I have no problem with it." Bolt's comments come after the new Wada president Craig Reedie revealed his intention to introduce hair follicle testing to escalate the fight against performance-enhancing drugs.

Bolt, who has won six Olympic gold medals and holds the world record at 100m and 200m, signalled his approval in Kingston on Friday. "If it's a new rule and it's a better way to clamp down on this, then I welcome it."

Reedie has said that a new $10 million (£6m) fund set up by the International Olympic Committee should be used to open up new testing techniques to catch cheats. The British administrator said: "This is a really exciting development and means we can look at approaches that in the past have been unaffordable."

Paul Wright, the doping control officer at the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco) who last year noted the spate of positive tests by Jamaican athletes including Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, believes Reedie's plan was a master stroke.

"Hair follicle [testing] has been advocated by France for some years now and it is good to see that this new chief of Wada has decided to put this in his armament," Wright said.

Jamaican sports medicine specialist Winston Dawes, said the technique could alleviate the suspicions about Jamaican athletes. "I think that the more tests that we have, the more we [Jamaica] will prove that it's natural talent and our [training and high school] programme, which has been the reason why we have dominated the sprints in the last few years."