Usain Bolt could yet be reinstalled as a nine-time Olympic sprint champion after the Jamaican Olympic Association revealed was considering appealing the decision to strip the country of its 4x100m relay gold medal from Beijing 2008 following Nesta Carter's positive drugs test. Carter has been retrospectively punished after a series of samples from the Games eight years ago and London 2012 were re-analysed.
International Olympic Committee rules state that an entire team forfeits all medals when one member tests positive for a banned substance, meaning that Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater will all be forced to return their gold medals, with Trinidad and Tobago set to be confirmed as the new race winners. The ruling has extra significance for Bolt, who sees his achievement of completing the so-called 'triple-triple' erased from history.
Bolt won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Rio to take his Olympic tally to nine golds but must now relinquish the third medal he won in Beijing, when the Jamaica team recorded a then world record 37.10 seconds. But according to the country's Olympic Association all is not lost for the sprint star, with an appeal set to be lodged to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Carter's lawyer, Stuart Simpson, has already confirmed to Reuters that the decision will be questioned while the president of Jamaican's Olympic Association wants each athlete to be given the chance to clear their name. "We have to decide what the best legal process is," Mike Fennell told BBC Sport. "It is a team and we are interested in ensuring they are properly protected and given a fair chance of clearing their names."
Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president Warren Blake also told the Jamaican Gleaner: "Having now seen the ruling, the athlete has the right to appeal, and we will await the decision of the athlete as to what he will be doing. The athlete will be having discussions with his legal counsel and will decide on his next move."
Prohibited substance methylhexaneamine was discovered after Carter's samples were re-examined. The nasal decongestant was only added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned list in 2010, two years after Carter ran in the Chinese capital, though it had been outlawed as an "unspecified stimulant" by the governing body. The IOC is confident CAS will reject any appeal on the grounds that the substance had not been completely outlawed by Wada.