You let the team down, Chaplain for Sport tells drug cheat Nesta
The Chaplain for Sport has criticised a Jamaican Olympian after he failed a drugs test resulting in his team – which includes sprinter Usain Bolt – being forced to hand back their Olympic gold medals.
The team was stripped of their gold after Nesta Carter was disqualified from the 2008 Games for failing a drugs test.
The 31-year-old Carter ran the first leg in the 4×100 metres relay in Beijing, helping Jamaica to a new world record of 37.10 seconds and Bolt to his third Olympic gold medal.
But the International Olympic Committee has now stripped the Jamaicans of that victory after a re-analysis of Carter’s anti-doping sample tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.
Bolt – who repeated the 100-200-relay triple in London and Rio – and his team-mates have known this day was coming since last summer, when rumours of Carter’s positive test first surfaced.
Bolt, Carter, Michael Frater, Asafa Powell and Dwight Thomas, who ran in the heats, will now have to return their gold medals, with Trinidad & Tobago, Japan and Brazil the new one-two-three.
Chaplain for Sport Mgr Vladimir Felzmann strongly criticised Carter, pointing out that his disqualification voided all of his teammates efforts.
“Team loyalty – human decency – should deter anyone from trying to get an illicit edge on the opposition while threatening the honest efforts put in by ‘my mates’, he told The Universe. “Shame on you Nesta – now nasty – Carter.”
However, Mgr Felzmann, who is also CEO for the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, did question the International Olympic Committee’s stripping of team medals if it was only an individual at fault.
“A rowing medal would also be lost if just one of the crew failed a drug test,” he explained. “Would a football – or any other ballgame – team be stripped of its medal were just one of that team to fail a drug test?”
Methylhexaneamine is an energy-boosting ingredient in many dietary supplements and several Jamaican athletes have failed tests for it before, including five sprinters in 2009.
Given its prevalence, though, sanctions tend to be on the lenient side, with bans of three to six months common. The loss of an Olympic gold is an unusually strict punishment.
Picture: Nesta Carter (second left) celebrates with his Jamaican team mates, including Usain Bolt, in Beijing after clinching the relay gold left. (Photo: AP/PA Images).Tags: Asafa Powell, Brazil, Chaplain for Sport, Dwight Thomas, Jamaica, Japan, John Paul II Foundation for Sport, methylhexaneamine, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Olympian, Olympic gold medals, Trinidad & Tobago, Usain Bolt