Bolt fiercely criticizes ‘attention-seeking’ Lewis

Usain Bolt took a momentary break from basking in his historic

Olympic sprinting double to fiercely criticize Carl Lewis.

Soon after winning gold in the 200 meters at the London Olympics

for 100 and 200 titles at back-to-back games, Bolt said Thursday he

had ”lost all respect” for Lewis after the American was quoted as

saying Jamaica’s doping controls were not as strong as other

countries.

While not making any direct accusations, former 100 and 200

Olympic champion Lewis has said in recent years that Jamaican drug

testing procedures might need to be tightened.

The comments brought a stern reaction from Bolt at Olympic

Stadium, right after he roared to an unprecedented second 200-meter

title at the games. No other athlete has won the 200 twice at the

Olympics, although Lewis won the event in 1984 and finished second

in the 1988 Games.

With the smile that had been a constant fixture throughout his

press conference vanishing from his face, Bolt lashed out at

nine-time gold-medal winner Lewis after being asked if he’d like to

be compared with him or late sprinting great Jesse Owens.

”I’m going to say something controversial right now. Carl

Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt said. ”The things he says

about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete

to say something like that. I think he’s just looking for

attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him.

”That was really sad for me when I heard the other day what he

was saying. It was upsetting. I’ve lost all respect for him. All

respect.”

Asked which specific comments from Lewis made him angry, Bolt

replied: ”It was all about drugs. Talking about drugs. For me, an

athlete out of the sport to be saying that. That was really

upsetting for me. Really upsetting.

”To jump up and say something like that. As far as I’m

concerned he’s looking for attention. That’s all.”

Lewis, the former 100 and 200 Olympic champion, has raised

questions in recent years about Jamaican drug testing

procedures.

Following Bolt’s performance in Beijing, Lewis told Sports

Illustrated: ”Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program,

so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone

is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing

field.”

Bolt had already dealt with one question about doping when he

was asked Thursday if he could guarantee that Jamaican sprinters –

who swept the top three spots in the 200 – were clean.

”Without a doubt,” Bolt said, sitting in between silver

medalist Yohan Blake and bronze winner Warren Weir. ”We train

really hard.”