“I was very disturbed”: Devastated Usain Bolt Once Spilled Secrets About 2005 World Championships Scandal

Published 09/04/2023, 5:02 PM EDT

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The name Usain Bolt sits in the athletic record books with his untouched sprint distances. His numerous achievements in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relays have set an unbeatable standard that no athlete in the world has been able to surpass for decades. In addition, the G.O.A.T. has dominated the sport single-handedly taking home Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympic games. Despite retiring six years ago, no one has ever come close to matching his level of supremacy which only justifies his moniker, Lightening Bolt.

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New-age competitors like Noah Lyles, Fred Kerley, and several others still refer to it as the Bolt era even though there have been a few near-calls. Just like that, another World Championship went by with Bolts’ insanely covered distances intact. However, his fame put him under the scrutiny of brutal questions over a brief period.

What was the allegation against Usain Bolt?

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Standing 6’5″, the Jamaican was born with lengthy limbs, and demonstrated talent at a young age. He pushed the boundaries of the human body, smashing world records while running faster than anyone had ever witnessed. He was a fresh breeze when the athletic scene was being tarnished by several high-profile drug scandals. On 11 August 2005, at the Helsinki IAAF World Championships, his boldness dropped just 60 meters away from the 200m finish mark. A video of the same was posted by Total Running Productions on YouTube, which shows the said race, titled, “Why 2005 Was His Most Important Year.”

The video draws an array of analogies between his sprints. The focus, however, remained on the opening Helsinki race, which put him at the forefront of “fixing” accusations. Here’s what sparked the backlash: Bolt ran four races at the international competition, taking first place in the qualifying event on August 9. He finished second the next day in the quarterfinal and fell to last place the following day in the semifinals. Finally, he once again finished last in the finals. The 200-meter race was won by Justin Gatlin, which placed Americans in the first four winning spots for the first time ever in World Championship history.

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Bolt explained his left hamstring was giving him a searing pain, so he slowed down and jogged the remaining distance to prevent additional injury. However, the skeptics conjectured that he purposefully forfeited the race after fixing a loss with his then-rivals Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, and others. Later he stated, “Some people said I was paid to get out…people saw those reports and they took it seriously. I was very disturbed by it,” in an interview with Time. In the early 2000s, this was not an uncommon incident, but in this case, the greatest man suffered greatly as he was solidifying his name in history.

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Here’s when sprinting legend made a comeback

Under the guidance of veteran Olympian Pablo McNeil, Bolt succeeded at the junior national and later international levels. Losing his Worlds gold in 2005, unsubstantiated allegations only forced him to hone his technique with his new coach Glenn Mills. The Lightning Bolt broke the famous world record ever by winning the fastest 100m race with a world-record time of 9.58 seconds. The electronic timing then got transported to Worlds Berlin where he set the 200m record in 19.19s.

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Well, he remains the only sprinter to have won Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympic games with eight Olympic gold medals. Hence, the Guinness Book of World Records declared him “The fastest man on the planet” with confidence. It’s true that nobody could match his highest speed of 30 mph or perfectly stack his career triumphs. Last but not least, his renowned legacy in the sport’s history would be impossible to replicate. Won’t you agree?

Watch This Story From Justin Gatlin to Yohan Blake Usain Bolts Biggest Rivals

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

718Articles

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Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
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