Usain Bolt loses big sponsorship deals over doping controversy

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Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt at London Olympics 2012
(Photo : Nick J Webb)

Usain Bolt claims that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) investigations into Jamaica’s doping controversy has made him lose big sponsorship deals.

The Olympic gold medallist believes that WADA’s investigation has made his potential sponsor(s) feel that Jamaica may not participate in the 2016 Olympics.

“A sponsor came up to us and was saying, ‘We’d like to sponsor you’. They then used an agency that does background checks to figure out if it’s viable to sponsor you and it came back that WADA had said that I would not be eligible to run at the next Olympics. 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,”

The doping controversy surrounding Jamaican athletes has increased after several sprinters, including former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic gold medallist and world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser, were tested positive for prohibited substances. Shelly-Ann has threatened to boycott major events; however, Bolt says he will not follow on Shelly-Ann’s footsteps.

WADA President, John Fahey, has indicated that Jamaica may face severe punishment if the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was non-compliant. Fahey also said that only WADA code-compliant sports may participate in the Olympic Games.

One of JADCO’s former chief said the organization had carried out just one out-of-competition test in the six months leading to the London 2012 Olympics. Moreover, a current senior drug tester at JADCO recently said that the recent doping controversy in Jamaica was just the tip of the iceberg.

It seems that Jamaica has taken Fahey’s threat very seriously as the country has agreed to work together with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

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