Carter was part of Bolt’s biggest relay victories but a retrospective test for Beijing Olympic sample found he had an outlawed compound in his body
USAIN BOLT has been given a lifeline to reclaim his Olympic triple-triple after Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter was granted an appeal after testing positive for a banned dieting substance.
Bolt was stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals – the 4×100 metres relay title from the Beijing Games in 2008 – after Carter tested positive last year when samples were re-analysed.
But Carter has now been granted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which will be heard in Lausanne on November 15.
A decision is not expected until early next year but it gives Bolt hope of getting his medal back.
Bolt retired last month after having to settle for 100m bronze and then pulling up with a hamstring injury in the 4x100m at the World Championships in London.
He returned his stripped medal to Olympic chiefs in February, insisting the loss of the relay title did not diminish his greatness.
But it meant Bolt, who holds 11 world titles, no longer equals the all-time record of nine Olympic golds on the track set by American sprinter Carl Lewis and Finnish legend Paavo Nurmi.
Carter along with Michael Frater, Asafa Powell and Bolt won gold at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in 2008 in a then world record time of 37.10sec.
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But it emerged in June 2016 that retests of frozen samples had allegedly uncovered traces of the banned stimulant methylhexanamine under the new biological passport system which tracks any changes in an athlete’s system for up to eight years.
It meant the entire Jamaican 4x100m relay boys were stripped of their gold medals, even though there is no evidence of wrong-doing by the other team members.
At the Rio Olympics last summer Bolt won 100m gold, 200m gold and the 4x100m title again after similar success at London 2012 and the 100m and 200m titles in Beijing.
Carter was tested on the evening of the Beijing final in 2008 but that was found at the time to contain no “adverse analytical finding.”
Carter, now 31, was not in the Jamaican squad in Rio or London 2017.
He was the first-leg specialist helping Bolt to win gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships.
The case is complicated because methylhexaneamine has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list since 2004 but was reclassified in 2011 as a “specified substance”.
It is commonly found in dietary supplements.
This could have meant Carter, the sixth fastest 100m runner of all time, escaped with a slap on the wrist – or a back-dated six months to two year-ban which was the maximum sanction for the offence at the time – and he and his team-mates keep their Beijing gold.
Carter presented evidence in Lausanne last November to a three-strong IOC panel who ruled he had “committed an anti-doping rule violation” and must return his medal along with his team-mates. He is now appealing that decision.
If he wins his appeal the gold medal will go back to Jamaica. If he loses, then Trinidad and Tobago will be awarded the gold medal, Japan the silver and Brazil the bronze.