Did You Know Usain Bolt Holds the Majority of Fastest 100M Sprint Times Not Associated With Doping?

Usain Bolt

“Out of the 30 fastest 100m sprint times ever, only nine were achieved by an athlete not associated with doping. Usain Bolt ran all nine.  4:56 PM · May 19, 2020 UberFacts @UberFacts”

The above tweet by Uberfacts, though inaccurate, has generated public debate about doping in men’s 100m track and field sprinting. UberFacts is wrong. There are three athletes from the list of top ten fastest 100-meter sprinters who have clean anti-doping records. It is not just Bolt.

Bolt retired in track and field 2017 as clean as he came into it. Bolt’s anti-doping reputation remains intact. However, many of his peers aren’t able to make a similar claim. During Bolt’s unprecedented dominance of the 100, 200, and 4×100 relays world records spree, there was a persistent effort tarnish the success of Jamaica’s track and field program as dirty. The public speculation machine, fueled by scandal hungry segments of the press, critics like track and field icon Carl Lewis, and social media persist in keeping Jamaica in the doping crosshairs and, by extension Usain Bolt.  Hurdling greats Reynaldo Nehemiah and Edwin Moses Both refuted Lewis’s unfounded and unproven allegations and innuendos. Reynaldo Nehemiah attributed Bolt rise to his pedigree and talent as a sprinter Edwin Moses talked about Bolts biomechanics.

The two Caribbean athletes – Jamaica’s world record holder Usain Bolt, Trinidad and Tobago 2008 Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson, and U.S. former world record and five-time world champion Maurice Greene have never failed a drug test. None of the three were ever formally accused of using PED, a banned substance, or sanctioned for doping by World Anti Doping Association. Canada’s Olympic champion Donovan Bailey and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt are the only two men’s 100-meter Olympic champions since 1984 that have not tested positive for drugs.

The other athletes on the top ten lists either tested positive for using PED, or a banned substance, have been sanctioned, or are under investigation for breaches of the World Anti Doping Association testing protocol.

The ten fastest 100m times by male sprinters in track and field history are Jamaican’s Usain Bolt 9.58 Yohan Blake 9.69, Asafa Powell 9.72, Nesta Carter 9.78, and Steve Mullings 9.80. The USA’s Tyson Gay 9.69, Christian Coleman 9.76, Maurice Greene 9.79, and Justin Gatlin 9.79 with Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson 9.82 and Canada’s Jamaica born Donovan Bailey 9.84 rounding out the list.

Jamaicans Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, and Steve Mullings, along with the USA’s Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin have tested positive. Christian Coleman is currently provisionally suspended for his 1019 and 2020 repeat violation of WADA, USADA drug testing protocol.

Usain Bolt critics have questioned the fast times he has run and how he broke so many world records over his ten year dominance. In the opinion of his critics, this can only be explained by Bolt doping. Yet they can present no tangible evidence or verifiable proof of cheating.  Leading this school of thought is Carl Lewis. Lewis witnessed Bolt’s earth-shattering performance at the Reebok Grand Prix meet at Randall’s Island in 2008. He responded that the rest of the world, unlike him, were fools not to question whether Bolt was doping. Lewis has a history of doping. He is a three-time drug cheat. Carl failed three drug tests for banned substances. Twice before the 1988 Olympics and at the U.S. trials. Lewis tested positive for three stimulants pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine. He was allowed to compete in the 1988 Olympics despite testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Carl Lewis should not have been allowed to compete in the year 1988. According to the rules he should have been banned for four years.

During his track and field career, Bolt has refused to take any dietary supplements. For most professional athletes, nutritional supplements are a staple. Bolt preferred vast amounts of Chicken Mc Nuggets. So while his competitors rely on doping to catch him, Bolt placed his trust in McDonald’s Chicken Mc Nuggets.

His critics also didn’t understand the science, biomechanics, and physiology behind Bolts’ phenomenal speed and power. In the article “Remembering Usain Bolt’s 100M Gold in 2008: The Day He Became a Legend.” Jonathan Snowden details the science, biomechanics, and physiology behind Bolts’ phenomenal speed and power. At all Olympics and World Championships Usain Bolt would use each round to sharpen skills and run a faster time. He always won with his fastest times.

Usain Bolt is the fastest 100-meter sprinter in the history of track and field.  A careful examination of his athletic rise shows a steady but consistent progression with his times. In 2008 he ran 9.76 in Kingston. Two weeks later, he set a new world record 9.72 in New York.  In the summer at the Beijing Olympics, he broke world record 9.69, and at the 2009 Berlin World Championship, he ran 9.58. From 2010 to 2012, Bolt ran 9.79 9.76 and 9.63 at London Olympics. By his admission be became lazy, and his times declined.

Bolt recorded the fastest human foot speed between 60 and 80m in his world record 9.58-second 100m final in Berlin in 2009. Bolt as timed at 44.72km/h, which is 27.8mph. It took Bolt 41 strides to complete a 100 meter. The average sprinter requires 44 strides.

Yohan Blake, who is also the second-fastest sprinter in 100m (9.69) and 200 m 19.26, tested positive for the stimulant 4-methyl-2-hexanamine. The drug was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list. However, 4-methyl-2-hexanamine was similar in structure to the banned substance tuaminoheptane. Blake received a three-month ban from competition.

Steve Mullings served a two-year ban after testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone in 2004. Mullings admitted to using Viagra.  He received a lifetime ban for his second repeat offense. Mullings used the banned diuretic furosemide, which can act as a masking agent for other drugs.

Asafa Powell tested positive for the drug oxilofrine. It contained the supplement Epiphany D that included oxilofrine. Oxilofrine is a banned substance. The supplement manufacturer deliberately left the banned substance off the list of ingredients. Powell won an undisclosed amount of money from the manufacturer. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced his suspension to six months.

The International Olympic Committee sanctioned Nesta Carter for doping at the 2008 Olympic Games. The gold medal for the men’s 4 × 100 m relay was given to Trinidad. Carter took stimulant methylhexaneamine as a nutritional supplement.  It was not on the illegal or banned substance at that time. However 4years later he was the only athlete found retroactively guilty of using methylhexaneamine.  No other athlete in sports has ever been ever sanctioned for using the same nutritional supplement, commonly used by many athletes in different sports. His 100-meter time 9.78 remains legal.

Tyson Gay failed multiple drug tests with numerous positives in one year. According to published reports, one positive came at U.S. Nationals trials in July of 2013. Another positive was out-of-competition in May. Gay tested positive for oxilofrine, a banned anabolic steroid that increases adrenalin production.  It is a banned stimulant. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency USADA banned Gay for one year. The organization stripped him of the silver medal he won with the 4x100m relay team at the London 2012 Olympics. His results from July 2012 were wiped out.

In 2001, Gatlin was banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for a banned substance; amphetamines.  His appeal reduced the ban to one year. In 2006, he incurred a further four-year ban by the USADA for testing positive for higher than acceptable testosterone level. His prohibition from competition lasted between 2006 and 2010. This sanction erased his then-world-record time of 9.77 seconds in the 100 meters.

The 2019 World 100meter champion, Christian Coleman is currently under investigation by the Athletic Integrity Unit for two consecutive offense “missing whereabouts” for drug tests. He’s missed six appointments in twenty four months. Coleman was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after a third missed drug test in 2019. In 2020 he received a temporary ban from competition for missed drug tests for “whereabouts failures” — any combination of three missed drug tests and filing failures in 12 months results in automatic suspension by all the athletic governing bodies.

Usain Bolt was the ultimate showman.

Usain Bolt was a global phenomenon that transformed the sport of track and field significantly. His impact on the sport is undeniable.

Having brought millions to track and field, he changed the game. It is no longer acceptable to simply win the World Championship or Olympic 100meter titles. Bolt has elevated the way how sprinters win. Male 100m athletes now have to win in spectacular style when breaking Bolt world records. Bolt didn’t just win; it is how he won spectacularly. When he won at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing 94,000, felt they were running and winning with him. Whether Berlin, London or Rio, the crowd did not just witness history, they help create to history because he made them feel they were a part of his races.

Bolt’s brilliance on the track, his world record-breaking times were in the realm of video games. These times were not possible before he arrived on the scene. Bolt was so far ahead of his rivals in the 100-meter sprints he transcended the sprints and the sport. As champion athlete Bolt complemented his showmanship, the playing to the crowd, his relaxing warm-up routines were engaging and entertaining and his trademark lightning poses made him a star attraction.

Commenting when Bolt’s first broke the world 100-meter record in NYC, NBC Sports analyst Ato Boldon said, “The 100 meters is run in a straight line, but the line for the 100meters starts behind Usain Bolt. ” The line for clean sprinting begins behind Usain Bolt.” 

As a now-retired sprinter, he stayed clean for ten years. Usain Bolt proves that sprinters could run a fast time and stay clean.

Photos – Deposit Photos

About the author

Winston Stan Evan Smith

Senior Editor and North East Media Coordinator for Jamaicans.com