In his press conference following his win in the 200 meters, Usain Bolt made no attempt to hide his disdain for Carl Lewis, the gold standard among Olympic track athletes with nine gold medals.
Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press has Bolt’s full comments:
“I’m going to say something controversial right now: Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him. The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to say something like that. I think he’s just looking for attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him. So he’s looking for attention. That was really sad for me when I heard the other day what he was saying. It was upsetting. I’ve lost all respect for him. All respect.
Asked why he had such strong feelings toward Lewis, Bolt brought up Lewis’ suspicions about doping:
“It was all about drugs,” said Bolt. “Talking about drugs. For me, an athlete to be out of the sport to be saying that. That was really upsetting for me. Really upsetting. To jump up and say something like that. As far as I’m concerned he’s looking for attention. That’s all.”
As far back as 2008, in an interview with London’s Daily Telegraph, Lewis said, among other things:
“When people ask me about Bolt,” said Lewis, “I say he could be the greatest athlete of all time. But for someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool. Period.”
After Bolt’s win in the 100 meters on Sunday, Lewis appeared to knock Bolt again, suggesting on international TV that Bolt had some work to do before he could be considered a true legend.