Usain Bolt's historic Olympic triple triple is now a thing of the past. The sprinting superstar, along with fellow Jamaicans Michael Frater and Asafa Powell, will now be forced to hand back the 4x100m relay gold medal won at the 2008 Games in Beijing after teammate Nesta Carter was retrospectively punished for an anti-doping violation.
In a statement released on Wednesday (25 January), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed that re-analysis of Carter's samples had resulted in a "positive test for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine".
In addition to disqualifying Carter, the IOC's disciplinary commission confirmed that: "The Jamaican team is disqualified from the men's 4x100m relay event. The corresponding medals, medallist pins and diplomas are withdrawn and shall be returned."
Three-time world champion Carter, the sixth-fastest 100m runner of all time, and also a member of Jamaica's winning team at London 2012, ran the first leg in 2008 as Jamaica stormed ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan to set a new world record in a time of 37.10 seconds. While Carter's urine sample did not initially return any adverse findings, the issue arose following the targeted re-testing of 454 samples from Beijing last year.
Bolt previously described the possibility of having to hand back one of his medals as "heartbreaking". The 30-year-old took his haul of Olympic golds to nine in Rio de Janeiro last summer by completing a third consecutive clean sweep of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events.
Trinidad and Tobago are now set to be awarded gold as a result of Jamaica's disqualification, with Japan upgraded to silver. Brazil finished fourth and could now be in line for bronze.
The IOC also confirmed that Russia's Tatiana Lebedeva has been stripped of the long jump and triple jump silver medals won in Beijing after her own sample re-analysis resulted in a positive test for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (turinabol).