usain-bolt-steroidsCarl Lewis and Victor Conte are two prominent personalities who have been engaged in running – the former running on the athletic track, the latter running a steroid ring. These two ‘runners’ suspect sprint superstar Usain Bolt’s performance at the recently concluded Beijing Olympics could not only be due to his diet of homemade yams but to steroids and other performance enhancers as well.

Conte has recently expressed his misgivings about the impressive performance of athletes coming from the Caribbean countries like Jamaica. Conte’s suspicion is based on the fact that these countries lack or have inadequate testing programs for steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. This is also the basis of Lewis’ skepticism; that unlike the United States, Jamaica has humungous task ahead regarding its anti-doping policy.

“I’m proud of America right now because we have the best random and most comprehensive drug-testing program. Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. No one is accusing Bolt, but don’t live by a different rule and expect the same kind of respect. How dare anybody feel that there shouldn’t be scrutiny, especially in our sport?”

Understandably, Lewis’ comments has raised some hackles in Bolt’s country, particularly Herb Elliot, Jamaica team doctor and a member of the IAAF antidoping commission. Elliot stated that the US was circulating “condescending crap” at the Olympics. “They still think we don’t know anything down in Jamaica,” he said.

In 2003, Lewis was one of the athletes whose names appeared in the documents provided by Dr. Wade Exum to Sports Illustrated. Exum was the United States Olympic Committee from 1991 to 2000.

The American athletes, numbering to about 100, failed anti-doping screenings and should have been disqualified from participating in the Olympics but were nevertheless got clearance to compete. The documents said Lewis tested positive three times prior to the 1988 Seoul Olympics for three banned stimulants – pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. He was banned from said Olympics and was suspended for six months. Lewis denied he consciously used the banned substances, a claim which USOC had believed and prompted them to clear Lewis for future competitions.