Usain Bolt saddened by allegations of drug abuse dominating World C'ships build-up
Beijing: Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt expressed his sadness yesterday that doping issues rather than track talk were dominating the build-up to the World Championships that start in Beijing on Saturday.
Sprint king Usain Bolt gestures during a press conference ahead of the IAAF World Championships meet in Beijing yesterday. Pic/AFP
Athletics' world governing body IAAF has recently been mired with allegations over doping, while Bolt's main sprint rival is Justin Gatlin, the controversial American who has served two doping bans, the latter for four years after testing positive for testosterone.
"It's really taken centre stage," Bolt said of the doping issue. "All I've been hearing over the past couple of weeks is doping, doping, doping. "The majority of questions are about doping, it's definitely sad."
But Bolt played down suggestions that he was the "saviour" of track and field, saying he alone was not capable to turning the tide.
'Not a saviour'
"Initially I'm running for myself, that's what I do," he said. "People say I need to win for the sport, but there are a lot other athletes who are running clean.
"It's not only on me because I can't do it myself. I think it's the responsibility of all the athletes to take it upon themselves to help save the sport and show the sport can go far, without drugs cheats or athletes who've taken drugs."
Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medallist and world record holder in both the 100m and 200m, added: "I just try to do what's right by the rules of the IAAF, WADA and everybody. We all know the rules and we just have to abide them.
"It's not only up to me because I can't do it by myself because I'm not the only one in the sport. "It's up to all the athletes to understand the rules and abide by them and just work hard to be the best: it will make sports a better place."
Bolt might have endured a stop-start season debut, but he vowed he is ready to defend his double sprint titles at the world champs. The towering Jamaican gets his campaign under way in heats for the 100m on Saturday, the opening day of the competition that runs until August 30.