Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt fears he will lose millions of dollars in potential sponsorship as a result of suggestions that he could be barred from competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The claim has come from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as it carried out a probe into the country’s drug testing programme for athletes.
Bolt, who was for the fifth time named the World Athlete of the Year on Saturday, said he is bothered by the threat to his ability to earn money from the sport.
“Track and field is my job, that’s the first thing. I know we’ve been going through a lot when it comes to drug-testing, WADA and the IAAF. There’s been a lot going on”.
WADA’s probe into Jamaica’s drug testing programme took place after a number of high profile Jamaican athletes tested positive for banned substances.
WADA had warned that athletes from Jamaica — like Bolt — could be prevented from competing in Rio, if Jamaican authorities did not address their concerns.
“This actually caused a lot of problems for me and my management. A sponsor came up to us and said ‘we’d like to sponsor you’. They then used an agency that does background checks to figure out if it’s viable (to sponsor) and it came back that WADA had said that I would not be eligible to run at the next Olympics,” said Bolt.
“That information is not correct, so there are a lot of things that are going on with this drugs thing that I really feel they need to clarify because, for me, it’s causing problems for me when it comes to making money from my sport”.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who was also awarded female athlete of the year over the weekend, threatened that she was prepared to strike if more support was not forthcoming from Jamaican authorities on WADA’s position.
Bolt however is not prepared to go that route with Fraser-Pryce.
“It’s hard for me to strike because it’s my job,” said Bolt.
“For me, it’s a big problem that they need to sort out immediately. It’s not helping any athlete at all and it’s really causing problems. We really need to get this out of the way and move past this”.
If you like this article please consider joining our Forum HERE to help us grow.
Remember to share this article on Facebook and other Social Media Platforms. Subscribe to our mailing list to get new articles sent to you automatically.