Here’s the Sad Reason Usain Bolt Was Stripped of His Olympic Medal

Retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is one of the greatest Olympians of all time. He’s known as the “World’s Fastest Man” and has set records that may never be broken, but he was stripped of one of his gold medals eight years after winning it. Following an appeal, a final decision was made in May 2018 that Bolt and his teammates will not be getting the medals back.

Here’s the reason for that and what Bolt has said about the decision (page 7).

What the record books won’t show

Usain Bolt crosses the finish line.
Usain Bolt | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

In 2017, Bolt retired from athletics after winning nine Olympic gold medals. But because of something that wasn’t his fault, the record books will only show that he won eight as he was stripped of the gold medal from the men’s 4x100m relay during the 2008 Olympics.

What that means is that the track-and-field superstar will no longer have a perfect Olympic record of winning the gold in every event he competed in. Instead of having the “triple-triple” title for winning golds in the 100m, 200m, and the 4x100m relay in 2008, 2012, and 2016, Bolt will be one win shy.

Next: The team didn’t just win the relay. 

How Bolt won the medal

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The gold medal was awarded to the Jamaican relay team after they won the race in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games played in Beijing.

Bolt and his three other teammates also set what at the time was a world record by finishing the event in just 37.10 seconds.

Next: These are the teammates he won with. 

Who his teammates were

Jamaica's Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell celebrate after winning the men's 4?100m relay final at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.
Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell  | Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

The other three members who were part of the 2008 Jamaican relay team with Bolt included Michael Frater, Asafa Powell, and Nesta Carter.

Carter, who is the sixth-fastest man in the world and ran the opening leg of the race, also won a medal alongside Bolt at the 2012 Games in London. He did not compete during the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Next: This is the reason their medals were taken away. 

Why they were disqualified

Nesta Carter of Jamaica talks to the media during the PUMA - JAAA press conference prior to the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Daeduk Cultural Hall on August 25, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.
Nesta Carter | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for PUMA

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee ordered that samples from athletes who competed in 2008 be retested and Carter’s sample tested positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.

This meant that he and the rest of the 2008 Jamaican relay team would be disqualified from the event in which they won the gold medal. Carter, however, vowed to appeal the decision in order to clear his name and keep the gold medals.

Next: The CAS reached a verdict. 

CAS issues the final ruling on Carter’s appeal

Bronze medalist Nesta Carter of Jamaica on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 100 metres during Day Three of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 12, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
Bronze medalist Nesta Carter of Jamaica during a medal ceremony | Paul Gilham/Getty Images

On May 31, the Court of Arbitration for Sport released its decision on the matter.

A statement from the panel said that it “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the [International Olympic Committee panel] decision [to strip the medals] should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures.”

Next: Who gets the gold now?

The gold goes to the second-place team

Trinidad and Tobago's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4x100m Relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns  | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Now, that the Jamaican team is officially disqualified and will not be getting the gold medals back, the Trinidad and Tobago relay team that finished second in 2008 are awarded the gold.

Therefore, the relay team from Japan are upgraded to silver medalists, and the members of the Brazilian relay team become the bronze medalists.

Next: This is what Bolt has said about the ruling. 

Bolt’s thoughts on not getting medal back

Usain Bolt and teammates at Beijing in 2008
Usain Bolt and teammates at Beijing in 2008 | Usain St.Leo Bolt via Instagram

Bolt took to social media the same day the CAS announced its decision and shared his thoughts.

“The rules are the rules but at the end of the day the joy of winning that relay gold medal in Beijing 2008 with my teammates will last forever,” the athlete wrote alongside a photo of the team posing with the gold medals around their necks.