Carl Lewis Says Only Fools Wouldn’t Suspect Usain Bolt of Using Steroids

  • Tweet

Carl Lewis, the former 100-meter champion and multiple Olympic gold medalist, expressed his skepticism about the performances of Usain Bolt four years ago at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He made thinly veiled accusations that Bolt was doping with steroids or some other performance-enhancing drug (PED) in an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph. Lewis told the newspaper that only “fools” wouldn’t suspect Bolt of using steroids.

“So when people ask me about Bolt, I say he could be the greatest athlete of all-time,” said Lewis. “But for someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool. Period.”

More recently, Lewis questioned the state of anti-doping in Jamaica given the absence of a national anti-doping organization. For Victor Conte to question steroid-testing in Jamaica is one thing. But for a former 100-meter champion to cast doubt upon performances of a current 100-meter champion is another. It gives the appearance of “sour grapes” by Lewis.

Bolt clearly made note of Lewis attempts to discredit his world-record performances. After Bolt won the 200-meter event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, a sports writer made the unfortunate mistake of asking Bolt how it felt to be among great Olympic sprint champions such as Lewis and Jesse Owens. Bolt used the opportunity to tell the world what he really thinks of Carl Lewis.

“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.”
Bolt specified the “drug talk” as the reason for his lack of respect for Lewis. Bolt identified Jesse Owens and Michael Johnson as his role models in the sport but clearly not Lewis.
For the record, Bolt has never tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug (PED). Lewis, on the other hand, has tested positive for the banned stimulant pseudoephedrine. However, Lewis was not sanctioned for his positive drug test.

Usain Bolt


Associated Press. (August 10, 2012). Usain Bolt has ‘no respect’ for Carl Lewis after doping comments. Retrieved from