Sprint legend Usain Bolt says he has no regret extending his career after his London 2017 World Championships experience, while again calling for life bans for intentional dopers.
Bolt suffered his first defeat at a major international championship since 2008 – excluding his false start at the 2011 World Championships – and could not finish the race while anchoring Jamaica in the 4x100m final because of injury, resulting in the country’s first loss in the event – also since 2008.
“I was saying goodbye to the fans and saying goodbye to my events also,” he said. “These are my two events that I have dominated for years. I was saying goodbye to everything. I almost cried. It was close but it didn’t come.”
After embarking on a special lap of honour so slow that you could not believe that we were saying farewell to the world’s fastest man, Bolt was asked by reporters already missing him whether he might ever change his mind.
“No, I’ve seen too many people come back and make things worse and shame themselves. I won’t be one of those people who come back,” Bolt said firmly.
He strongly condemned the use of drugs in the beautiful game of track and field saying, “I feel like athletes should get life bans. If you go out of your way to cheat to be a better athlete I feel you should get life bans, that’s a fact. We hit rock bottom last year or the year before and now we’re on our way back up. Now we have to be strict on this to help the sport stay in a good place. I’ve proven to the world you can do it. You can be great without doping, that’s one of the things I want to preach to the younger kids.”
“I have proven to the world you can be great without doping and, hopefully, younger athletes can look at me and see. That’s one of the things I want to help with if I get the chance to be around athletics; to preach to the younger kids from a younger age. Getting to them at younger age really helps to mould them,” Bolt added.
Being a mentor to youngsters, particularly in his native Jamaica, is something Bolt intends to occupy much of his time on in retirement. But first will come the nightclubs of London and Kingston.
“My bucket list right now is to have some fun,” he said, “to just go out and have a drink. I’ve had a stressful championships, so I want to spend some time with my family.” he concluded.