KINGSTON – Track and field’s golden boy Usain Bolt, says he felt “let down” by the sport’s leaders following recent doping and bribery controversies but thinks that suggestions to reset the world records – including the three that he currently holds are pointless.
Bolt, who was on Friday evening named the 2015 RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman of the Year, admitted shock at the crisis currently engulfing the sport with former IAAF president Lamine Diack currently facing criminal investigations around allegations he accepted bribes to sweep positive drugs tests under the carpet.
The issues affecting the sport have also seen Russia being banned from competition after being accusations of a state-backed, systematic doping system.
This led to UK Athletics last week releasing a document “A Manifesto for clean athletics” detailing several proposals it believes will protect clean athletes and recover the sport’s credibility, including a controversial suggestion to wipe the record books clean.
The Jamaican sprinter, whose world records in the 100m (9.58), 200m (19.19) and as a member of the Jamaican 4x100m that ran 36.84 at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, would be wiped if UK Athletics has its way, admitted shock at the crisis.
“When I heard the news it was quite shocking because as far as I was concerned, they were doing a good job to clean up the sport and to hear something like that was quite shocking,” Bolt said of the troubles plaguing his sport.
“You feel let down as an athlete, from wanting to help clean up the sport and then for something like this to happen coming from the body of the sport,” Bolt noted.
The six-time Olympic and 11-time World Championships gold medal winner, however, thinks that the suggestions to erase the world records is pointless and thinks the focus should be on ensuring that the sport’s future is a positive one.
“I found it really funny, as my coach would say, you can’t change history so what they are saying (suggestions to erase records) is really pointless. What’s done is done we have to just move forward and try to make the next Olympics and World Championships and records as best as we can and look to the future. We can’t worry about the past,” Bolt added.