In Rio, former Olympic champion Carl Lewis wants to tackle doping head on. He says that athletics has taken a hit of late, and that something must be done to clean up the sport.
You have to make a stand whoever you are whether it is Usain or Allyson FelixFormer Olympic Champion
When asked whether the sport was doing enough to tackle doping, he had this to say.
“Well I think it is a complicated issue but Sebastian Coe is in now, and I really believe that Sebastian has an idea to make a clean sport, that is what he wants. So you are going to have make some bold steps but there are some bold steps (…) I believe that people want to see a clean sport so they are going to want as clean a sport as possible, but I think Sebastian is a great leader for it.”
The American athlete has a total of 10 Olympic medals under his belt, nine of them gold. At the height of his sporting career he earned millions of dollars and dominated the headlines. He is now calling on superstar athletes to take a stand against doping.
“The reality is you have to speak out against it, you have to make a stand whoever you are whether it is Usain or Allyson Felix or anyone. Who is really making a stand against it, that’s a question, If you want to be the leader then you have to take the lead and that was a lot of the criticism I received because I did take a lead in trying to make our sport professional and trying to stop the drug problem so of course you are going to get push back from other places but I want to continue to push the athletes to take the lead because I don’t see the athletes stepping up and talking about the issue enough and I think we would be very well served if they did it.”
In the past, six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has hit out at Lewis for questioning doping controls in his native Jamaica. When asked about Bolt’s chances to win the 100m race in Rio, Lewis preferred not to comment saying, “I never make predictions”.
Most golds in Olympic history— ESPN (@espn) August 12, 2016
22: Michael Phelps
9: Carl Lewis
9; Mark Spitz
9: Larisa Latynina
9: Paavo Nurmi