Usain Bolt losing Olympic gold medal right call, but does statute of limitations need to be put in place?
Imagine if Derek Jeter had to give back one of his five World Series rings because it was proven that Roger Clemens or Alex Rodriguez had failed a PED test during one of the Yankees’ championship seasons.
Usain Bolt was stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals on Wednesday when it was confirmed that Jamaica relay teammate Nesta Carter had tested positive for a stimulant in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
It might seem silly to do this retroactively, but this truly is the correct move if the strict international rules on doping were violated.
According to the IOC, Carter came up positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant, in a stored sample that was retested last year with more advanced testing procedures than were available in 2008.
Carter, Bolt and Jamaican teammates Asafa Powell and Michael Frater won the men’s 4×100-meter relay in Beijing, the first of three consecutive “triple-triple” performances for Bolt. He captured gold in that race, as well as the 100 meters and 200 meters individual races in three consecutive Olympics.
“The Jamaican team is disqualified,” the IOC said in a statement Wednesday. “The corresponding medals, medalist pins and diplomas are withdrawn and shall be returned.”
Second-place finisher Trinidad and Tobago would be awarded the gold from 2008, with Japan moving up to silver and the fourth-place team being upgraded to the bronze medal.
“It’s heartbreaking because over the years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion … but it’s just one of those things,” Bolt said last year. “Things happen in life, so when it’s confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal, I’d have to give it back, it’s not a problem for me.”
Of course, cheating is cheating, but perhaps the bigger question the IOC must answer here is whether we are facing an unwinnable battle, as doping only becomes more and more sophisticated over time.
Does a statute of limitations have to be put in place for such disqualifications? How about instead of statute of limitations of 10 years, how about shortening it to within a year of competition or at least by the subsequent Olympics?
According to the Associated Press, methylhexaneamine was not specifically listed as a prohibited…