“[Usain] Bolt was subjected to the exact same stringent testing measures by WADA, IOC and JADO as other international athletes.
“It is idiotic, small-minded, myopic and racist to even attempt to suggest that somehow an immigration officer in Jamaica has a greater proclivity and ability to assist an athlete in dodging an out of competition test…”
The following letter to the editor in response to claims by BALCO founder Victor Conte that the success of iconic sprinter Usain Bolt and Jamaica’s female track stars is ‘highly suspicious’ and that Jamaica’s athletes would be tipped off whenever a drug tester landed at the Kingston airport, was submitted by former Olympic swim coach and Minister of Sport Anil Roberts:
(Conte served prison time in 2005 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering in an elaborate drug scheme that catered to athletes like baseball star Barry Bonds, boxing star Shane Mosley and track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.)
This is the single most asinine interview I have ever seen, on any topic in the history of sports. A convicted, disgraced cheater making the argument that I am a cheater, therefore the only way an athlete can run fast is to cheat. He has no data, no evidence, no training splits, times efforts, has never even seen Usain Bolt train, yet draws conclusions based on his own, non-existent moral code.
He pays no scientific attention to the fact that Usain is a phenom, the tallest ever sprinter to win Olympic gold by some nine inches. Physiologists, bio-mechanists, coaches and trainers never believed that such a tall human being could ever have the core strength, coordination, technique, power and speed—fast twitch fibres to get up out of a horizontal starting position so quickly and efficiently to even be competitive in a 100 meter race.
No scientific analysis was conducted by this disgraced doctor on: stride length, stride rate, anaerobic output, rhythmic cadence and speed maintenance. No analysis was done on Bolt’s development, speed, performances from a young age through high school, world juniors into senior events showing his path to greatness was envisaged, predicted and obvious once he stayed healthy.
Bolt was subjected to the exact same stringent testing measures by WADA, IOC and JADO as other international athletes. It is idiotic, small-minded, myopic and racist to even attempt to suggest that somehow an immigration officer in Jamaica has a greater proclivity and ability to assist an athlete in dodging an out of competition test.
Bolt has never been cited for missing an out of competition test!
Finally the absurd argument that someone else may have cheated therefore Bolt cheated is simply ignorant, myopic, self-serving and dangerous. To attempt to present to the world that developed countries who have given us Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Maurice Greene, Tyson Gay and presently Christian Coleman—who only escaped a ban because he missed three out of competition drug tests in 14 months rather than the stipulated 12—is simply incredulous.
Finally, what is so distasteful is your malicious intent to stain an athlete’s lifelong, historic legacy with mere supposition and innuendo from a convicted master cheater, knowing full well that in the world of elite sport you are now guilty until proven innocent.
Since Bolt has retired, he does not even have the opportunity to now show the world his training and open testing on social media or by documentary, refuting your baseless, senseless, wicked, unscientific, nonsensical, xenophobic, asinine assumptions.
Usain Bolt is a phenom, he is the greatest track and field athlete of all time. Respect due!!
My name is Anil OE Roberts, I am a Level 5 senior ASCA, WSCA, Olympic swimming coach, a former Minister of Sport of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I call on you, Graham Bensinger, to apologise to Usain Bolt, the people of Jamaica and all athletes of the developing world for your malicious smear campaign disguised as an in-depth interview.
Of course I believe that birds of a feather flock together. So if Victor Conte is your colleague, I’d expect no apology whatsoever—as only a human being of questionable character would attempt to pass off a convicted, serial cheater as a moral, ethical and sporting savant.
You are a complete disgrace.