When Usain Bolt destroyed the competition in the 200m final on Thursday night, he secured his place as the greatest Olympic sprinter in history, surpassing the achievements of Carl Lewis.
But far from citing the American as an inspiration, in the aftermath of his victory, Bolt criticised Lewis, the only other man to win two 100m gold medals. "I'm going to say something controversial right now, Carl Lewis – I have no respect for him," Bolt said. His outburst was undoubtedly provoked by the American's comments after Bolt's success in Beijing, when he implied that Jamaica had lax drug testing rules.
"Countries like Jamaica do not have a random [drugs testing] programme, so they can go months without being tested," he said. Asked before the London Games what he thought of Bolt, Lewis added: "It's just... interesting. I watch the results like everyone else and wait... for time to tell." Bolt's rejoinder, after he surpassed Lewis' record of two 100m golds, a 200m gold and a silver, was searing. "He is just looking for attention because nobody really talks much about him. It was really sad for me when I heard what he was saying, it was upsetting," said Bolt.
"I've lost all respect for him. It was all about drugs stuff for me. For an athlete to be out of the sport saying that was really upsetting."