Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell has remarked the failed doping test of sprinter Nesta Carter is a stain on the proud athletics heritage of the country.

The International Olympic Committee recently announced that a reanalysis of a sample provided at the Beijing Olympics by Carter contained the banned substance Methylhexaneamine. The 4×100 meter relay team of Jamaica, which included legendary sprinter Usain Bolt, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell besides Nesta Carter, had their gold medals stripped. The haul of Bolt, the fastest man in the world, was reduced from nine Olympic medals to eight.

Fennell added this is extremely unfortunate and added it is obviously not something that we would want to happen, but we have to face it and face the issues clearly and deal with them. The JOA President added there is no question that when you have a situation like this and the high-profile position of a relay team that won a gold medal and some of the people who are superstars on that team then obviously, it will reflect very badly on us.

Fennell re-emphasized that the Jamaica Olympic Association takes a strong stance on anti-doping and added he does not want the indiscretions of one athlete to undermine efforts of the organization. The JOA chief also said we do feel it is very important for us because as a country, our sports leaders and everybody are very strong about anti-doping matters and the fight against doping in sport. Fennell added that we at the same time are equally strong that we must protect the rights of the athletes, particularly those who are innocent and have not contravened the spirit of the rules.

Fennell, who previously served as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said Carter would be appealing against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Fennell said that Carter, Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, and Dwight Thomas have been asked to return medals following the ruling of the International Olympic Committee. Fennell remarked he can confirm that letters have been dispatched to the five members of the gold medal-winning team from the Beijing Games in 2008 requesting the return of the medals as directed by the International Olympic Committee.

The 30-year-old Bolt completed a ‘triple triple’ in Rio last summer. Bolt won gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay to add to his successes in the same events in 2008 and 2012. The 31-year-old Carter was also a part of the squad that won the event in London five years ago and he assisted the country win at the World Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Carter ran the first leg in Beijing for Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that also included Bolt, Frater, Powell and Thomas, who ran in the heats. Carter secured an individual 100m World Championship bronze medal in Moscow, behind Justin Gatlin and teammate Usain Bolt. He became only the fifth sprinter in August 2010 to run the 100 meters in less than 9.8 seconds.

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