LONDON: London Olympics chief organizer Sebastian Coe said Friday he was satisfied that double sprint champion Usain Bolt and his Jamaican teammates were being properly drug-tested outside of races.
Coe was dragged into the row that erupted after Bolt said following his 200m victory Thursday he had lost all respect for Carl Lewis because the U.S. sprint legend has doubted the toughness of Jamaica’s drug-testing procedures.
“I haven’t heard those remarks but my admiration for both Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt is undiminished,” said Coe, who has admitted he wants to become president of the athletics world governing body IAAF in the next few years.
Coe said he had “no reason to believe” that Jamaican athletes were not being tested out of competition – the sort of tests that are considered essential in the fight to detect systematic doping.
“I think the IAAF ... [in our] domestic and international testing arrangements have been very comfortable about how Jamaica and the Jamaican track and field federations are upholding those values and protocols,” Coe said.
In his post-race news conference after becoming the first athlete in history to retain both Olympic sprint titles, Bolt said he had “no respect” for Lewis, who won nine Olympic golds spanning four Games in his career.
“The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to be saying something like that about other athletes,” the 25-year-old Jamaican said.
“I think he’s just looking for attention really because nobody really talks about him,” Bolt said.
Lewis made his comments about Bolt after the Jamaican achieved the 100m-200m double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“No one is accusing anyone,” the American said. “I’m not saying they’ve done anything for certain ... I don’t know. But how dare anybody feel that there shouldn’t be scrutiny, especially in our sport?”
The American visited the London Games, but said he was more interested in watching minor sports such as BMX racing than the athletics.