Jamaica 100m sprinter Nesta Carter has retired from the sport of athletics on the back of recent struggles with an undisclosed medical condition.

The 35-year-old, who was part of Jamaica’s world record gold-winning 4x100m relay team at the London Olympics, made the announcement, on Tuesday, via social media platform Twitter.

“…I am no longer able to give of my best as an athlete to the sport that I know and love.  As a result, and for other reasons, I am announcing my retirement from track and field and an athlete,” the release read.

“My ultimate decision to retire from athletics was also precipitated by a private medical condition, which has been getting worse.  This condition has hindered me from training and competing since March 2021.  A medication prescribed by my doctor to address this medical issue breaches existing anti-doping rules.  As such, I had to make a choice between my health and athletics, and I chose my health.”

The athlete was also part of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning relay team at the 2008 Olympics, but the medal was stripped after a retrospective test returned a positive sample from Carter.  The athlete was also part of a gold medal-winning relay team at the 2011, 2013, and 2015 World Championships.  Carter claimed an individual bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships and has the eighth fastest time ever recorded over the distance.

Bahrain's Salwa Eid Nasser, the 2019 400m world champion, will miss this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, as she has been banned for two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today partially upheld the decision issued by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal on October 14, 2020.

The ban takes effect today.

However, her results from the 2019 World Championships in Doha will remain.

“Ms Salwa Eid Naser is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on the date of notification of this award, with credit given for the period of provisional suspension already served between 4 June 2020 and 14 October 2020,” CAS said.

“All competitive results obtained by Ms Salwa Eid Naser from November 25, 2019, through to the date of notification of this award shall be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money.”

She will also have to pay 5000 Swiss francs to World Athletics and to the World Anti-Doping Agency as a contribution towards their costs connection with these arbitration proceedings.”

In the wake of the ruling, the attorneys representing the athlete Dr Emir Crowne, Mr Matthew Gayle and Ms Kristie Irving have expressed concern about a part of the CAS ruling which can have serious implications for athletes. "A majority of the panel says it is okay for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to re-characterize charges in the middle of an appeal. So, the majority of the panel said WADA can re-characterize a missed test as a filing failure if they want to. With all due respect to the majority of the panel, that can't be right. That cannot be a fair principle in any court system," Dr Crowne told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

The Nigerian-born 400m runner was charged with four alleged whereabouts failures by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in June 2020. These included filing failures on March 16, 2019, and three missed tests on March 12 and April 12 as well as January 24, 2020.

However, the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal ruled the alleged violation in April 2019 should not stand which meant Naser had not missed three tests.

Naser won the world title in a time of 48.14, the third-fastest time in history defeating Shanuae-Miller Uibo who ran a lifetime best of 48.37 and Shericka Jackson who also clocked a personal best of 49.47 for third.

 

Opus, a leading publisher of luxury limited-edition books in sports, film and entertainment, has announced a partnership with Usain Bolt to produce the publication of Bolt – The Opus, a luxury limited edition, capturing iconic Olympic moments and treasured memories of the eight-time Olympic gold medalist and 100m and 200m world record holder.

Bolt - The Opus will honour the achievements of the iconic Jamaican, who is regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time having won eight Olympic gold medals and 11 World Championship gold medals and who continues to inspire young people from all backgrounds, cultures and nations.

In addition, the Bolt Foundation serves to create opportunities through education and cultural development for positive changes to help children live their dreams.

Bolt, who retired in 2017, is also a four-time Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and the winner of many other awards across the globe.

According to the publishers, The Opus will be the largest and most luxurious celebration of the sport’s greatest icon, measuring 60cm x 40cm, weighing in at 17kg. Over 260 pages printed on luxurious silk paper will celebrate in the most dynamic way, using high definition photography presented in the most unique way like never before.

It will be in a hand-made clamshell presentation case with the release being followed by a limited number of editions that will be personally signed by Usain making it the greatest tribute to Usain Bolt ever.

An excited Bolt said he is eagerly anticipating the release of the publication.

” I was given the Manchester United OPUS as a gift a few years ago and am thrilled to finally have The Official Usain Bolt Opus,” he said.

“I have seen some sample pages already and am excited that it is going to look amazing and capture all the biggest moments in my career.”

 

The first editions will be ready for release and shipping later this year.

Despite the intense rivalry they shared on the track during the 1990s, two-time Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers said she always admired and respected Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey for her talent and longevity.

The rivals met in a number of major finals that were talked about for years, especially the epic 1993 World Championships 100m finals in Stuttgart, Germany and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, three years later.

Prior to those two years, Devers and Ottey met in the finals of the 100m finals at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 when Devers won her first Olympic 100 title in 10.80s. Ottey was fifth in 10.88 in one of the closest finals in history. 0.08 seconds separated the first five places.

That race marked the beginning of a tense rivalry between Devers and Ottey that would only intensify over the next four years.

In Stuttgart, Devers got off to a flyer and was ahead midway the race but she was being reeled in by a fast-closing Ottey, who with her final strides appeared to have caught the diminutive American as they crossed the line together.

Unsure of who won, the finalists stood around looking up at the scoreboard for what seemed like an eternity. Officials eventually announced that Devers had been awarded the victory even though both she and the Jamaican icon were given the same time of 10.82.

Jamaican protested the result but the decision upheld, handing the American.

By 1996, the 36-year-old Ottey was at her fifth Olympics, Devers her third, and once again they came face to face in the 100m finals and once again, history repeated itself. Devers got off to a great start only to be reeled in by Ottey and sure enough, they crossed the finish line together.

Both were timed in 10.94 but like in Stuttgart, the American was given the nod. The circumstances created tensions between the two countries and their athletes. However, Devers said those tensions were simply about competition.

“You just get caught up in ‘this is competition and you got coaches who say we’re going to protest this,” Devers told Ato Boldon on his Athletics Live show on Instagram last week.

She said she had no idea why things turned out the way they did, why it always seemed to come down to her and Ottey.

“It keeps coming up that it’s these two every time. I don’t know why it was always us but we were always willing to go to the wire,” she said.

Devers explained that in the early days' everyone kind of kept to themselves, leaving little to interact with her rivals.

“When we were competing, it was (Irina) Privalova, it was me, it was Gwen Torrence, it was that four that you could not pick who was going to win on that day,” she said.

“And we can’t duck each other, we gotta go, we gotta run, gotta bring you’re A-plus game because they’re bringing their A-game. So with Merlene, I always knew she was a great athlete and I would always tell her ‘You still running, shoot…”

She said that as time passed, they both got the chance to get to know each other and the tensions cooled.

“While you’re competing everybody is in their own camp, you don’t sit there and socialize anyway, but as we got older, going to awards ceremonies or even with social media, we were able to talk to each other,” she said.

“She knows that I have always admired her because I don’t care at what age, if she steps out there now I am concerned. You might want to be worried because if she is in the lane, she is ready to go.”

Christian Coleman, the 100 metres world champion, will miss the Olympic Games despite having a ban for breaking anti-doping whereabouts rules reduced to 18 months.

The American missed three drugs tests in the space of a year and was initially hit with a two-year suspension after a ruling from the Athletics Integrity Unit.

Coleman took responsibility for a first missed test on January 16, 2019, and claimed the second, on April 26 of the same year, was due to a "filing failure".

He said he was only notified about a third missed test in December 2019, the following day. Coleman said he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window to be tested and questioned why he was not contacted by telephone by the tester.

Coleman took his challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which has partially upheld the 25-year-old's appeal.

CAS has ruled Coleman's ban, which was originally due to end on May 13, 2022, will now expire on November 14. It means he will miss the Olympics, which run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.

However, he will be able to defend his world title in Oregon next year.

A CAS statement read: "In coming to its decision, the CAS Panel determined that Christian Coleman had indeed committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, but found the athlete's degree of negligence to be lower than that established in the Challenged Decision: the Athlete was not at home during the 60-minute time slot on the day of the out-of-competition doping control (9 December 2019), as he should have been, and the Athlete should have been on 'high-alert' on that day, given the two existing whereabout failures against him. 

"On the other hand, however, had the Athlete been called by the Doping Control Officer, he would have been able to return to his apartment during the 60-minute window and a test would have been concluded. Although a telephone call during the 60-minute window was not required by the rules, it was nevertheless reasonable for the Athlete to expect such a call, as a matter of standard practice among other Doping Control Officers.

"In conclusion, the CAS Panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility was the appropriate sanction in the circumstances."

Anderson Peters, the 2019 World javelin champion, is thankful that the Olympics were postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic as it means he now has a legitimate shot at winning a medal, perhaps gold, when the Games convene in Tokyo, Japan this coming summer.

Steven Gardiner became one of the fastest men in history when he won the gold medal in the 400m at the World Championships in Doha last year. The 25-year-old Bahamian crossed the finish line in 43.48s, the sixth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

But while he dreams of one day breaking Wayde van Niekerk’s four-year-old world record of 43.03, he would prefer for it to come as a surprise.

“I would say that is everybody’s dream! If I do set the world record, I want it to be a surprise,” Gardiner said in a recent interview with World Athletics.

“I just want to go out, compete and then when I look at the clock, find that I’ve set a world record.”

The soft-spoken Bahamian harbours hope to have a good year competing in 2021 culminating with another gold medal in Tokyo.

“I just want to compete the best I can and leave with a medal, specifically the gold medal. I know what I have to do. For the season, I’d like to run a few PBs and then win an Olympic medal,” he said.

With most of the major meets cancelled or postponed during 2020, Gardiner said he spent much of the time focused on improving his speed, a potentially critical element in any attempt at a world record.

“Many things were the same, although my coach, Gary Evans, introduced a lot more speed work. It was fun and it really paid off,” he said.

“I had a lot of fun. During the pandemic, we decided to focus on the shorter sprints and leave competing again in the 400m to 2021.”

 

 

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