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posted 26 Jan 2017, 08:21 by Gerry Kangalee
It's unfortunate and tragic in a sense: I was driving when I heard the radio station announce a 'breaking news story'. Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt's team mate in 4 gold medal races (1 Olympics and 3 World titles), had tested positive for a banned substance in Olympics 2008. This at first will cost the whole team from Beijing not just Bolt, the medals. Then practice and precedent suggest all events in which Nesta Carter ran will have results modified. So the Beijing 4x100m men's race may just be the beginning.

One hopes Carter survives Jamaica. The reaction will be furious. Poor man! He might have been just ahead of his time. Think Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Bradley Wiggins the British cyclist; all of whom have been caught out and pardoned. Asafa is doing ads for Jamaican tourism in case you have not seen the calendars.

Bolt remains a phenom but in P.R. and image terms 8 is not 9. No one will achieve what he has in Olympic sprinting and his brand will remain strong but it has a watermark/tarnish/diminish.

A + is now straight A.

Frankly I was surprised at the result. Having followed the inconsistencies and politics of the IAAF and IOC, especially over the last 2 to 3 years I was telling persons that I thought this would have ended differently; that the Super hero image, so useful and attractive in the sport would have been protected the way the British athletes, especially, have been.

When Bolt came along it was said that “he was good for the sport''. That refers to his ability to attract viewership, increase crowd attendance - all of which translate into sponsorship. 

There is always a fierce rivalry for the sponsorship dollar. Before the Bolt phenomenon track and field had to fight up with the Jordans of basketball, Ronaldos and Zidanes of football, the Williams sisters, Federers of tennis and the West Indies cricket team. Yes, dear reader, once upon a time West Indian cricket was a global sport phenomenon. Compare that to watching a heavily built Eastern European woman heave an iron ball out of a circle 6 times in an evening..Why do you think the high jump is so 'jazzed' up? Today wherever Bolt lands it is an event, whether it is competition or business. Some 2 years ago, Bolt, a Black man from the Caribbean, presented the winner's trophy at the Paris Open to Rafael Nadal.

Is Trinidad and Tobago a deserving of the medal? Yeeeeeeessss!!!! Are we "inheriting the medal"? Noooooo! There is no statute of limitations. There has been a clear violation of the rule. Nesta used a banned substance. The rule is clear. Congrats to Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callendar, Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson. They stand right alongside Hasely and Keshorn. GIVE DEM DEY HOUSE!

Please note this makes Richard Thompson our most successful Olympic athlete. Gold and 2 silvers followed by Keshorn 1 gold and1 bronze. Will the federations now come out and make self congratulatory statements? Of course, in spite of the debacle of 2016! Track and field will continue to share that type of kinship with football, gymnastics and basketball administration wise. But that is a story well told and documented so we will not linger.

Congrats to the team. Congrats to Mr. Clayton Walkes who coached the team in the face of some serious challenges from within. I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Walkes on the N.G.C-owned Right on Track programme for the last 16 years...

To Nesta: We in Trinidad find no joy in what has befallen you and your team mates but the rules are clear and must be upheld