Glasgow 2014: Usain Bolt says Games slur claims are 'nonsense'

Usain Bolt has described claims he made disparaging comments about the Commonwealth Games as "nonsense".

The Times newspaper quoted the Olympic 100m champion as saying he was "not really" having fun in Glasgow.

Bolt said on Twitter: "I'm waking up to this nonsense.. journalist please don't create lies to make headlines".

He later told reporters he thought the Games were "awesome", but the Times said it was standing by its story.

The newspaper's Scottish editor, Angus Macleod, said: "We stand by this story 100%. We have utter confidence in this story."

It is understood the reporter who wrote the story has "verbatim notes" of her conversation with Bolt.

Bolt did not comment when asked about the Times article as he arrived at the SECC to watch Jamaica play New Zealand at netball.

The 27-year-old athlete appeared relaxed, posing for photographs and signing autographs before joining in with a Mexican wave.

As he left the venue, he shouted "awesome" to reporters who asked how he felt about the Games.

Usain Bolt Twitter feed The sprinter took to Twitter to dismiss the newspaper claims

His manager, Ricky Simms, earlier told the BBC the newspaper allegations were "utter rubbish".

Mr Simms added: "The atmosphere in and around the stadiums has been absolutely fantastic and I have absolutely no idea where these quotes have come from."

The Times claimed Bolt had been waiting in the rain for his car to arrive shortly after meeting members of the royal family at the athletes' village in the east end of Glasgow on Tuesday.

It quoted the world 100m record holder as saying the Glasgow Games were "a bit shit" and that he thought "the Olympics were better".

Bolt, who has been staying in the athletes' village, then left "to do some business", according to the newspaper's report.


By Neil Johnston, BBC Sport

Usain Bolt turned up to watch the Jamaican women's netball team take on New Zealand after denying claims he made disparaging comments about the Commonwealth Games.

The Times newspaper quoted the Olympic 100m champion as saying he was "not really" having fun in Glasgow.

But Bolt was all smiles as he appeared during the second quarter of the match at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre at 11:50.

Bolt, flanked by other Jamaican team-mates, looked relaxed and signed autographs for fans during the interval.

He also smiled for photographs from fans sat around him.

However, media were ushered away from Bolt when they tried to approach the sprinter.

Bolt did not reply when asked by BBC Sport on his arrival at the SECC if he was enjoying his time in Glasgow.

He later took part in a Mexican Wave. If he really is not enjoying his time in Glasgow, then he is doing a fine job at disguising it.

A huge cheer went up as his face appeared on the big screen. One elderly lady approached him and whispered something in his ear before patting him on the shoulder. Bolt responded with a beaming smile.


Speaking after winning his 200m heat on Wednesday morning, Jamaican sprinter Jason Livermore appeared to suggest he was not entirely happy with life in the athletes' village.

He told the BBC that the Scottish weather conditions were "tough" for Jamaican athletes, but added "we are enjoying the Games" and "honestly we can't complain".

When asked what he was making of life in the village and life in general, Livermore responded: "Well it can be better - things can be a little bit better for us. Can be better in a lot of sense. We have to just enjoy and give God thanks."

Start Quote

We're not trying to be the Olympic Games. We're about the celebration of the Commonwealth, sport and culture within the Commonwealth”

End Quote Mike Hooper Commonwealth Games Federation

However, Livermore declined to reveal what specifically he was unhappy with, adding: "I won't say. I won't say".

The Jamaican team's press attache, Laurel Smith, told BBC Sport that he believed Bolt may have become frustrated at not being able to "roam about".

He added: "But it was like that at London 2012. He basically goes to training and comes back.

"You can only play so many video games in your room. He's a free spirit, but it requires security organisation when he wants to roam.

"He even gets a bagman to get his food from the canteen because it would create too much of a stir if he was there.

"But one thing is for sure, he is enjoying himself in Glasgow."

Bolt, who has never before competed in a Commonwealth Games, will not participate in any individual events in Glasgow 2014.

However, he has agreed to run in the heats of the sprint relay on Friday. The final will be held at Hampden Park on Saturday.

Five-times Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave said he did not believe the Games were a priority for Bolt, whose season has been hampered by a foot injury.

He said: "When you're a world megastar as he is, the Olympics is his platform, the world platform that he's looking for.

"I don't think the Commonwealth Games has captured his imagination or he'd have been trying to compete in all the events that he normally competes in instead of just the relay, so that's a little bit disappointing."

'Brilliant time'

The arrival of Bolt, a six-time Olympic champion, in Glasgow at the weekend sparked a media frenzy, with Bolt facing a barrage of questions on subjects ranging from the respective political situations in Scotland and Gaza (no comment on either) to whether he wanted to play football for Manchester United (yes).

Responding to the Times article, a spokesman for the Commonwealth Games Federation said: "The Glasgow Games have so far been fantastic and everyone there, including the competing athletes, seems to be having a brilliant time.

"Usain Bolt must just be having an off day."

The federation later said it was "pleased" with Bolt's response to the newspaper report.

Chief executive Mike Hooper said: "We take Mr Bolt at his word. We're very pleased with how he's responded and that's our position."

Fans react to reports that Usain Bolt criticised Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games

Referring to Bolt's press conference appearance on Saturday, Mr Hooper added: "He's very upbeat, very positive, very focused on delivering for his fellow countrymen in the relay events.

"He has said what he's said and I don't wish to comment on the journalistic work of The Times.

"We're not trying to be the Olympic Games. We're about the celebration of the Commonwealth, sport and culture within the Commonwealth, and what a fantastic event we are seeing here in Glasgow.

"These Games continue to go from strength to strength."

Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle added: "I think he (Bolt) woke up to the story like everyone else.

"His tweet says it all. He has woken up to something he didn't believe he said yesterday."

More on This Story

Glasgow 2014

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Glasgow & West



7 °C 4 °C

Scotland Live

    08:50: Crowdfunding appeal for eyesight app

    The team behind a portable eye examination kit that uses smartphones is crowdfunding to raise funds for its new innovation.

    Eyesight app

    Peek Retina is a smartphone camera adapter engineered at the University of Strathclyde and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

    The company's apps and adapter help tackle avoidable blindness by making eye care widely available, and provide tools for those who cannot reach clinics or hospitals.

    Peek Retina, the team's newest creation, is an adapter that can be clipped over the camera of a smartphone to allow health workers to see inside the eye, save the photos and send them to experts for diagnosis and treatment.

    08:44: Public service reform sought

    Today will see Scotland's new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out her programme for government.

    On Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, John Downie, the director of public affairs for the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, was asked how he would tackle the issues of poverty and inequality, something Ms Sturgeon pledged at the SNP conference to address.

    "I think we need to think about the root causes of poverty and inequality in Scotland," he said. "That takes us to the way our economy works, at a national and local level.

    "You can't do it by protecting public services. What public services need is reform. We need more control of their own lives, such as control over local budgets.

    "What we need to see is a different way of doing government."

    08:41: On the move?

    Which English Premier League outfit are being linked with a move for Celtic's Kris Commons?

    Celtic's Kris Commons

    Read the latest football gossip and the rest of the back-page headlines in our newspaper round-up.

    08:34: Most stop-and-searches 'unsuccessful'

    The majority of stop-and-searches conducted by Police Scotland failed to recover any illegal items, data obtain by BBC Scotland suggests.

    Nearly 85% of the 42,826 consensual searches carried out in August and September 2014 were unsuccessful.

    BBC Scotland has created a searchable database of recent stop-and-search data

    This type of search - which does not require reasonable suspicion - comprised two-thirds of all searches during the period.

    Police Scotland said the tactic had contributed to a reduction in crime.

    08:32: I'm feline fine...

    A cat has been reunited with his owner after being missing for almost two years.

    Sheen was just a kitten when he disappeared in Bothwell, North Lanarkshire, the week before Christmas in 2012.

    Sheen vanished the week before Christmas in 2012

    Now, after the persistent detective work of Kirsty Adderton who found the stray on her doorstep, the "gobsmacked but thankful" owner has been traced.

    Sheen was in Renfrew, more than 30 miles away from where he vanished.

    His owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was not thinking of getting a cat in the first place, but I saw one in a litter that was different - scrambling to get out - and I thought 'that is the cat for me'.

    "I had given up. Then, randomly, I got a letter with Kirsty's number."

    08:27: Tax freeze 'stopgap' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Former Scottish government adviser @JenDempsie on #bbcgms describing the council tax freeze as a "stopgap". Interesting.

    08:26: Today's papers

    The Daily Record and the Scottish Sun lead with the news that the father of murdered toddler Madison Horn has been tormented by "sick" jokes about her death on Facebook.

    Newspapers composite

    The National looks at Jim Murphy's "conversion", after the Scottish Labour leadership candidate backed the full devolution of income tax powers - but in an editorial suggests it may be "too little, too late".

    The Herald, meanwhile, focuses on a "postcode lottery" for fertility treatment in Scotland with couples in Glasgow often having to wait more than a year for treatment.

    Read our full paper review here.

    08:21: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Road traffic collision on M8 Eastbound at J2 M9 / B7030 Newbridge/Claylands. One lane - lane two of two - blocked between the exit and entry slip. In Queensferry, reports that Kirkliston Road partially blocked by road traffic collision near Scotstoun Avenue.

    08:18: Missing runner found in Cairngorms

    A 25-year-old runner reported missing in the Cairngorms has been found safe and well after a five-hour search operation.

    Members of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, the RAF and Police Scotland were called in shortly after he was reported missing at about 17:00 GMT.

    The runner was found in the Lairg Ghru area

    The search for the runner, who has not been named, centred on Lairg Ghru area of the Cairngorm mountain range.

    The man was part of a group of six that had set off from the Sugarbowl, near Loch Morlich, together.

    It was understood he became separated and had no torch, map, compass or food with him.

    He was wearing only running shorts and a vest in sub-zero temperatures when he was located by a helicopter.

    08:13: Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Scottish government figures suggest recorded crime reached lowest level in 40 years in past 12 months. What's behind this? #bbcgms 0815

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme here.

    08:11: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Hi, it's Gillian. Chilly start, 3-5C for most, sub-zero parts of the Highlands. Mist & fog, especially in the Glasgow area, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire & the Highlands. Dry for most of the country today but cloudy, best of the sun in the northwest. Rain will affect the Borders & the east coast. Feeling chilly, at 7C.

    08:07: Hearts on the move? Brian McLauchlin BBC Scotland

    Finances could eventually force Hearts to move from Tynecastle Stadium, according to owner Ann Budge.

    The Edinburgh businesswoman has been speaking in depth for the first time since her summer takeover.

    Tynecastle Stadium

    Budge explained that one of her priorities was to tackle parts of the stadium in disrepair.

    "But we've got to be realistic and it might be that it's a more cost-effective solution to actually move," she told BBC Scotland.

    "Tynecastle does have something magical about it. If there was some way we could actually do something with the stand, it might be that that would be the better option and I know a lot of people would prefer to stay."

    08:02: Sturgeon to outline plans Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Plans for an alternative to council tax are expected to be at the core of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon promised "radical" policies when she outlines her first programme for government at parliament.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    A ban on under-18s buying electronic cigarettes is also expected.

    Opposition politicians said the independence referendum had left Scotland "on pause", and action was needed on several fronts.

    The government's legislative programme, expected to include a list of about a dozen pieces of new legislation, may also look at placing a duty on health and social care authorities to own up when things have gone wrong.

    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to Wednesday's edition of Scotland Live, as we bring you the latest news and sport between now and 18:00.



Elsewhere on the BBC

  • OrchestraSound of success

    How one of Turkey’s finest orchestras found global fame


  • Ladybird - a robot designed to help with farm workClick Watch

    From weed detecting to a robotic dairy - the tech that could help farmers be more efficient

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.