Usain Bolt: 'I've lost all respect for Carl Lewis'

 

Usain Bolt has hit out at people who make claims about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in athletics, and has "lost all respect" for former Olympic champion Carl Lewis.

On the day Bolt created history by winning the 200 metres to complete the sprint double for the second Games in succession, Victor Conte - the convicted owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) that supplied drugs to the likes of Dwain Chambers and Marion Jones - had claimed it was easy for cheats to prosper at London 2012 and that 60% of athletes are using drugs.

And while Bolt reacted angrily to Conte's claims when they were put directly to him, it was unclear exactly what sparked the Jamaican's diatribe against Lewis.

Lewis has previously questioned the stringency of Jamaica's drug-testing programme, but such comments were initially made in September 2008 - shortly after Bolt won three gold medals and set three world records at the Beijing Olympics.

"It is really annoying when people on the sideline talk stupid stuff," Bolt said in the mixed zone when asked about Conte's claims. "I think a lot of these guys who sit and talk, especially Lewis, no-one really remembers who he is, so he is just looking for attention. That is my opinion.

"It is really annoying to know that people are trying to taint the sport. The sport has been going forward. For someone to say that without any proof is really annoying. We work hard. We push ourselves to the limits."

Later, speaking at the official press conference for 200m medallists, Bolt added: "I am going to say something controversial right now; Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him. The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading, for another athlete to be saying something like that about other athletes.

"I think he's just looking for attention really because nobody really talks much about him so he's just looking for attention. So that was really sad for me when I heard the other day what he was saying.

"For me it was upsetting. I have lost all respect for him. It was all about drugs, talking about drugs, a lot of drug stuff. For an athlete out of the sport to be saying that is really upsetting for me. That was really upsetting for him just to jump up and say something like that. As far as I'm concerned he's looking for attention - that's all."

Asked separately if he could assure people that Jamaican athletes were drug-free, Bolt added: "Without a doubt. We train hard, especially my team-mates. We see each other work every day.

"We work hard, we get injuries, we have to take ice baths, we lay on the track, so I see the work we put in to be the best that we are. When people doubt us it's really hard, but we're trying our best to show the world that we are running clean."

PA

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss