TT’s 4x100m team will receive gold medals a decade after the Beijing Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) yesterday dismissed Nesta Carter’s appeal against the ruling to strip Jamaica of its relay title.
Carter appealed the CAS decision in February after testing positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant, in 2016, eight years after the sample was collected.
Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender and Aaron Armstrong were on the TT relay team that was initially awarded silver after clocking 38.06 seconds. With the ruling, Japan and Brazil were confirmed as the silver and bronze medal winners, respectively.
The result of the decision also meant Michael Frater and Asafa Powell lost their gold medals along with Bolt, who can no longer lay claim to a historic gold medal three-peat (100, 200 and 4x100m) at three consecutive Olympic games (2008-2016).
The CAS judgment noted: “We (do) not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or that the decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures.”
It continued: “Accordingly, the CAS panel dismissed the appeal and the decision is confirmed.”
Carter was also part of the Jamaica 4x100m team that beat TT for gold at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as the 4x100 relay teams that won gold at the World Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The news was both expected and welcomed by the TT team.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Burns said while receiving the gold medals in 2008 would have been more impactive, he and his team-mates can celebrate their positions among the world’s elite runners.
“At that time Trinidad and Tobago’s achievement would have been more monumental with the medal haul… and (my) team-mates could have benefited financially with the gold medal,” the 35-year-old said.
“But, the fact still remains with this confirmation, the team will be part of an elite fraternity of Olympic gold medallists, and that title cannot be taken from us.” Burns sympathised with Bolt and the other Jamaican athletes who were penalised for Carter’s actions. “(However) it is still disheartening for clean athletes to lose out when we try do things the right way,” he said.
“Bolt’s legacy has already been cemented as one of the greatest athletes to ever grace the sport of track and field and his achievements will remain for generations to come.”
Newsday also spoke with TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis who said the local governing body will wait until it receives official correspondence from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) before making a full statement. Pending this communication, Lewis said “it’s (still) one of those moments where it’s not an overwhelming sense of jubilation or triumph” given the time lapse and the repercussions for the Jamaican athletes.
“It will always be a bitter sweet scenario because we are one Caribbean people,” he said. Lewis lauded the IOC for its “determination to address the issue of doping in sport.”
“The T&T Olympic Committee, which is in fact the de facto national anti-doping organisation at this point in time, remains firmly committed to clean sport and clean athletes,” said Lewis.