This day and age, when one talks about the greatest Olympian runner “ever”, the name given would most certainly be that of Usain St Leo Bolt, the 30-year-old speedster from Jamaica who runs as fast as his namesake and is considered the fastest human ever timed. Great was the celebration of his collective triumphs in the past three Summer Olympic Games, where he won in all three sprint events on track. This “triple-triple” achievement made him one of the most celebrated athletes of all time; however a recent discovery regarding the medical records of one of Bolt’s teammates, a bronze medalist from the 2013 World Championships, has set into motion a step to invalidate some of his Olympic wins.

Fellow Jamaican runner Nesta Carter’s past medical samples were retested to discover the presence of controlled substances.

Null and void

All this comes back to Usain Bolt’s Olympic debut at Beijing in 2008. There he won gold in the 4x100 meter relay alongside Carter. A recent re-examination of his urine samples from the time discovered the awful truth of the presence of the stimulant methylhexaneamine. This Wednesday January 25 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared that the participation of Jamaica’s track team for the 4x100 meter relay was disqualified; as a result their gold medals are no longer valid. This sees Bolt and everybody on that ill-fated four-man team – Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell – getting stripped of their titles.

The matter of Carter’s new positive drug test results has been going on for the previous year now. Bolt, who remains the world record holder for 100-meters and 200-meters, mentioned in a past interview that he feels “heartbroken” at the thought of having to relinquish one of his medals, although he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time finally came.

The prohibited substance

Methylhexaneamine, the drug that was the root cause of this stumbling block for Bolt and Team Jamaica, was once marketed as a nasal decongestant until the early 1980s, after which it went on to become less its own medicine and more an ingredient in other substances like dietary supplements. The disgraced Carter, listed as the sixth fastest 100-meter sprinter in history, dropped out of competitive running when news of his positive test results from the previous decade made itself known in 2016.

Before that, he and Bolt were two regular fixtures on the Jamaican relay team for international events, especially the Olympics in 2008 and London 2012. Usain Bolt himself plans to retire from running after the London 2017 World Championships.