Former doping guru Victor Conte has pointed the finger of suspicion at world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica in an interview in which he also claims that all eight 100 metre finalists at the Sydney Olympics were cheats.
Conte, the former mentor to disgraced track star Marion Jones, was the brains behind the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (Balco) which produced and supplied once-undetectable designer steroids to many top sports stars.
A police raid on Balco in 2004, and the fall-out from the affair, rocked athletics and baseball to its foundations and has ended the career of many promising athletes.
Three-time Olympic champion Jones never tested positive, but her career fell apart after she was jailed for perjury amid a federal investigation into Balco which uncovered the full scope of Conte’s operation. Seven years after Balco’s demise, Conte believes that over half of top athletes are still doping.
“I believe that before the Balco affair, 80 per cent of athletes were using steroids, today that figure stands at about 65 percent,” Conte said in a hard-hitting interview with La Gazetta dello Sport on Thursday.
Conte said he believed the success of Jamaica’s athletes could also be attributed to dubious methods.
“At the 2001 world championships athletes from a Caribbean country, not Jamaica, told me how a doctor from their team supplied them with testosterone, EPO (erythropoietin) and other kinds of steroids.
“I know, because I went to him and he gave me EPO. The same informer tells me now that before Beijing (Olympic Games in 2008) that the Jamaicans were applying the same protocol that I created at Balco.
“I don’t have proof, but all you need to do is look at the results: I strongly suspect (Usain) Bolt, and the others (Jamaicans).”
Conte claims all eight finalists from the Sydney Olympics 100m final in 2000, won by American Maurice Greene ahead of Trinidad’s Ato Boldon and Obadele Thompson of Barbados, were also using banned products.
The other athletes were Britain’s Darren Campbell and Dwain Chambers, Ghana’s Aziz Zakari, American Jon Drummond and Kim Collins from Saint Kitts and Nevis, who went on to be crowned world champion in 2003.
“In the Sydney 100m final they were all at it (doping),” alleges Conte. (AFP)