(Reuters) - The world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, has criticized the "stupid" deal under which American sprinter Tyson Gay was given a reduced ban of only one year after failing three drugs tests in 2013.
Former 100m and 200m world champion Gay, who tested positive for steroids, cut a deal with the United States Anti-Doping Agency under which he gave evidence against his coach Jon Drummond, who was subsequently given an eight-year ban.
But Bolt, in a rare outspoken interview with the new edition of Runner's World magazine published in Friday's Times newspaper, it was "the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
"I was really upset about that. He got a year just because he talked to the authorities about how it was done and who helped him," the Jamaican said.
"That sends the wrong message. The message should be 'If you cheat, you're going to be kicked out of the sport.
"You have to drive fear into athletes, to make them think about the consequences of their actions. If they're getting an easy penalty why would they care?"
Six-time Olympic champion Bolt added that he was not looking forward to competing this year against his old rival, whose best 100 meters time of 9.69 seconds has been beaten only by the world record holder.
They are expected to meet again at this summer's World Championships in Beijing.
Reporting By Steve Tongue