Bolt says Jamaican doping issues costing him money

Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:04pm EST
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(Reuters) - Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt said on Saturday that controversy over Jamaica's anti-doping program is scaring off potential sponsors and costing him money.

"There is a lot going on with this drug thing that I really feel they need to be clear (about) and clarify because now it is causing problems for me when it comes to making money in my sport," he told a news conference in Monaco.

Bolt, who is on a three-man shortlist for the male Athlete of the Year award which will be announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in the principality later on Saturday, has never failed a drug test.

High-ranking World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials went to Jamaica last month to look at the country's anti-doping efforts after weeks of criticism following positive tests from several high-profile athletes.

WADA president John Fahey had suggested the Caribbean nation could face severe penalties if the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was declared non-compliant. Only WADA code-compliant sports can participate in the Olympic Games.

Jamaica's minister with responsibility for sports, Natalie Neita-Headley, told a news conference at JADCO headquarters last month that WADA had given no indication it was non-compliant.

However, Bolt said the fallout from the controversy was affecting him.

"It is really costing me money now. I am not too happy with that," he said. "Track and field is my job."

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Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt poses for photographers with a copy of his autobiography, "Faster than Lightning," at Selfridges in central London September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall