Sprint king Bolt welcomes hair follicle testing

Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:49am EST
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By Kayon Raynor

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Jamaica's Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has "no problem" with plans by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to test the hair follicles of athletes in a bid to clamp down on drug cheats in sport.

"This is the first I'm hearing it," Bolt said minutes after collecting his 5th RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman of the Year Award in Kingston late on Friday.

"But I think that anyway you can crack down on drug use in sports, I have no problem with it," added the Jamaican, who holds the 100 and 200 meter world records of 9.58 and 19.19 seconds.

Bolt's comments come after new WADA boss Craig Reedie revealed his intension to introduce hair follicle testing to help rid sports of drug cheats.

"We test in the main blood and urine, but now we will look at different approaches, such as can we use a lock of hair," Reedie was quoted by the British newspaper The Guardian as saying.

Bolt, the winner of six Olympic gold medals, welcomed the move.

"If it's a new rule and it's a better way to clamp down on this, then I welcome it," the sprint star offered.

Reedie, who says a new $10 million fund set up by the International Olympic Committee should open up new testing techniques to catch cheats said: "This is a really exciting development and means we can look at approaches that in the past have been unaffordable."   Continued...

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