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I have no respect for Carl Lewis: Bolt


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“We train really hard.” -Photo by AFP

LONDON: Usain Bolt took a momentary break from basking in his historic Olympic sprinting double to fiercely criticize former US athlete Carl Lewis.

Soon after winning gold in the 200 meters at the London Olympics for 100 and 200 titles at back-to-back games, Bolt said Thursday he had “lost all respect” for Lewis after the American was quoted as saying Jamaica's doping controls were not as strong as other countries.

While not making any direct accusations, former 100 and 200 Olympic champion Lewis has said in recent years that Jamaican drug testing procedures might need to be tightened.

The comments brought a stern reaction from Bolt at Olympic Stadium, right after he roared to an unprecedented second 200-meter title at the games. No other athlete has won the 200 twice at the Olympics, although Lewis won the event in 1984 and finished second in the 1988 Games.

With the smile that had been a constant fixture throughout his press conference vanishing from his face, Bolt lashed out at nine-time gold-medal winner Lewis after being asked if he'd like to be compared with him or late sprinting great Jesse Owens.

“I'm going to say something controversial right now. Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt said.

“The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to say something like that. I think he's just looking for attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him.

“That was really sad for me when I heard the other day what he was saying. It was upsetting. I've lost all respect for him. All respect.”

Asked which specific comments from Lewis made him angry, Bolt replied: “It was all about drugs. Talking about drugs. For me, an athlete out of the sport to be saying that. That was really upsetting for me. Really upsetting.

“To jump up and say something like that. As far as I'm concerned he's looking for attention. That's all.”

Lewis, the former 100 and 200 Olympic champion, has raised questions in recent years about Jamaican drug testing procedures.

Following Bolt's performance in Beijing, Lewis told Sports Illustrated: “Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I'm not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.”

Bolt had already dealt with one question about doping when he was asked Thursday if he could guarantee that Jamaican sprinters _ who swept the top three spots in the 200 _ were clean.

“Without a doubt,” Bolt said, sitting in between silver medalist Yohan Blake and bronze winner Warren Weir. “We train really hard.”

Comments (10) Closed

Amol Choudhary Aug 10, 2012 12:25pm
Sore grapes for the Americans. If they win its perfectly fine. But if poor nations win, they are doping.
Raza Ullah Aug 10, 2012 01:43pm
What can I say about these Americans? Basically, they are not bad people but they just do not have any tolerance to digest that other athletes can do better than them. After the little girl being labelled a drug user after winning in swimming, I hear this crap from Lewis. Americans should put their house in order first and then perhaps take the liberty to criticise others. Look at the cyclist called Armstrong. He has to be the biggest user of drugs of all time. Look at their famous baseball players. Kudos to Bolt. I loved every word he said.
akbar Aug 10, 2012 02:36pm
Look who are commenting..looks like US has not given enough aid to Pakistan this year....
Mohammed Baluch Aug 10, 2012 04:07pm
In order to prevent these types of loose comments, the Jamaican Athletics Federation should sue Carl Lewis.
Farrukh Aug 10, 2012 05:43pm
Everyone knows that when American and Russians were the only nations winning medals, there was no drug test. All those records and medals must be taken it is well known fact dopping was common in American sports. Even today I have a feeling that these countries are working on performance enhancing drugs that can not be traced by the current testing system. To accuse athelets from other countries without proof should not even be reported. You than see that people seeking cheap attention will shut up.
Muhammed Javaid Aug 10, 2012 10:01pm
Bolt should have kept his mouth shut and had showed apathy toward Carl Lewis's comments. Carl Lewis made comments in generality and pointed out about level playing field.
Tariq K Sami Aug 11, 2012 12:47am
This is so unfortunate. Carl Lewis sounds so petty.
Kamal Aug 11, 2012 08:59am
Sorry state of mind from a probable desi gora.
sameer Aug 11, 2012 01:49pm
lol true x)
kokochee Aug 12, 2012 03:14am
its called a Sore Loser !