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Olympics

Usain Bolt could lose gold medal from 2008 Beijing Olympics

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt celebrates after helping the Jamaican team win gold in the 400-meter relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

One of the three gold medals that Usain Bolt won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics could be taken away after a stored sample from a relay teammate reportedly tested positive for a banned substance.

The news emerged from a recent crackdown by Olympic officials, who are using new technology to reanalyze hundreds of samples from the past two Summer Games.

Nesta Carter, a longtime Jamaican team member, was found to have a banned substance in his system at the time of the Beijing competition, a Reuters report said.

Carter helped the Jamaicans to a 400-meter relay gold in world-record time that year. He also played a role in victories at the 2012 London Games and several world championships.

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So far, the International Olympic Committee’s retesting campaign has netted dozens of positive results. There is precedent for stripping medals from an entire squad when one member is caught cheating.

The U.S. men’s 400-meter relay team lost its 2012 silvers when Tyson Gay subsequently tested positive.

Bolt has won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400-meter relay at each of the past two Games. He is expected to contend for another Olympic triple in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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