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Usain Bolt to return medal

by Reuters
28 Jan 2017 at 06:07hrs | Views
KINGSTON - Usain Bolt and his Jamaican teammates who won the 4 x 100m relay at the 2008 Beijing Games have been told by the country's Olympic Association to return their gold medals following Nesta Carter's failed drug test.

Mike Fennell, Jamaica Olympic Association president, said that Carter, Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Dwight Thomas are being contacted following the ruling of the International Olympic Committee.

"I can confirm that letters have been dispatched to the five members of the gold medal-winning team from the Beijing Games in 2008 requesting the return of the medals as directed by the IOC," Fennell told Reuters by telephone on Thursday.

Fennell, who previously served as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, did not indicate whether a time frame had been given, but he confirmed that Carter would be appealing against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"In our discussions with Nesta so far he's discussing that matter (appealing to CAS) with his attorneys, both local and in the UK," Fennell said.

He did not comment on BBC reports that the Jamaica Olympic Association might appeal against the ruling that they, too, should forfeit their medals.

In the case of Bolt, losing his would reduce his career haul of Olympic golds from nine to eight.

Meanwhile, South African Wayde van Niekerk, the world 400m record holder and Olympic champion, is seeking a World Championships scheduling change so he can race Bolt in London, his manager said yesterday.

"We will try to make it happen. That's the plan. The main goal is to win the 400m title but he would also like to run the 200m. We'll see how he goes through the season and if he's ready for it," Peet van Zyl, Van Niekerk's manager, said.

The World Championships will take place in London in August.

"We will have also to see if the schedule of the World Championships allow it," he added.

Currently the 400m final will start just hours after the 200m heats, with both races scheduled for late evening on August 8.

If one of the races was moved it would give Van Niekerk a realistic chance to compete in both – likely facing Bolt in the 200m.

"I'm definitely doing the 200m and 400m, I've set it in my heart already and I've decided that I'm doing the 'two' and 'four'," Van Niekerk told South Africa's EyeWitness News website at an event in Stellenbosch, 50 kilometres east of Cape Town.

"It doesn't matter how the programme turns out, I'm going to do that challenge and see what happens."

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Source - Reuters