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Usain Bolt: Anti-doping scandal ‘costing me money’

ANTI-DOPING FALLOUT: Usain Bolt won't go on strike any time soon, and did not support team-mate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's boycott threat (PA)

OLYMPIC AND World 100m champion Usain Bolt said he will not boycott competitions over the anti-doping scandal engulfing Jamaican athletics, claiming it could jeopardise his valuable sponsorship deals.

Speaking about compatriot and fellow sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s threat to strike because of perceived lack of support from national authorities given to athletes in the face of drug cheating allegations, Bolt said he did not support her stance.

The 27-year-old six-time Olympic gold winner said: “For me this is my job, I can't just get up and go on strike.

“There was a rumour going around saying they were going to try and ban Jamaica if they did not have the Jamaican drug testing facility in order.

“But I'm saying if you're going to say that, you've got to be very careful of how you're saying it because now my sponsors say that if I don't run at the Olympics 'why should we sponsor you?' It's costing me money so they should sort this out and then there's no problem.”

Six athletes from the Caribbean island, including Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, have failed drug tests in 2013, and the World Ant-Doping Agency (Wada) has launched an investigation into the efficacy of Jamaica’s testing measures.

Bolt, who recently lifted the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) athlete of the year award along with Fraser-Pryce, accepted that Jamaica could be doing a better job of testing its stars for banned substances.

He added: “Jamaica might not be doing 100 per cent [but] it doesn't have a lot of money like everybody else around the world. We don't get a lot of sponsors.

“The IAAF president says the Jamaican federation has done a good job in cracking down, they just need help to develop their testing facilities more. I think it's a problem but I think they'll sort it out but they need to do it quickly.”

The scandal began earlier this year when a former head of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission revealed it had only conducted one out-of-competition drug test in the six months prior to the London 2012 Games.

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