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SBD Global/July 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Usain Bolt Says He Wants To Restore Faith Of Doping-Weary Fans

Usain Bolt reacts to a question at a press conference Thursday in London.
USAIN BOLT "breezed back into London and promptly tried to put the world to rights," according to Rick Broadbent of the LONDON TIMES. With athletics "suffering from a spate of doping scandals, the fastest man in history said that people could believe in him." As Bolt "prepared to top the bill" at London's Anniversary Games in Olympic Stadium Friday, the Jamaican "stated categorically that he was clean." In "a remarkable statement" at a London press conference, he said, "I was planning to explain this to people. How long have people been following Usain Bolt? If you’ve been following me since 2002 you would know I’ve been doing phenomenal things since I was 15." Bolt "did not duck the drug questions and faced them all with weary good humour and an air of slacker cool." He said that "he had sent a message" to Jamaican sprinter ASAFA POWELL, who has failed a test, but "would not be drawn on whether he thought the standard two-year ban should be doubled." Bolt: "I don’t make the rules. I can’t determine how harsh the rules should be" (LONDON TIMES, 7/25).

VITAMIN B: In London, Simon Hart reported Bolt said that "the only thing he has ever taken is legal vitamins." Bolt admitted that "he was surprised by the recent drug revelations but could not comment on specifics until the details were known." He emphasized, though, that athletes "needed to take extreme care about what they consumed." Bolt: "I have vitamins that I take. Every athlete takes vitamins. But I don't really take supplements. You have to be careful as an athlete, but I'm not worried because I have a great team around me. As a person I make sure I'm careful as well" (TELEGRAPH, 7/25). REUTERS' Mitch Phillips reported Bolt "is long used to his role as his sport's beacon of hope and with every failed test his position becomes more important to athletics' credibility." Next month he will race the world championships in Moscow where his main rival is likely to be American JUSTIN GATLIN, a twice-convicted doper "now back in the big time" (REUTERS, 7/25). The London INDEPENDENT reported Bolt said he was "not surprised" that Powell and U.S. sprinter TYSON GAY had failed drug tests. Bolt: "For me, I don't say it's much of a surprise, but there is a lot of details that are still to be discussed. There's a lot of things that haven't been said, so I'm just waiting to see what happens. In life things happen and people make mistakes" (INDEPENDENT, 7/25).
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