World Championships: Usain Bolt saddened by doping focus

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bolt 'sad' doping doubts 'centre stage'
World Athletics Championships
Venue: Beijing National Stadium, China Dates: 22-30 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, Radio 5 live, online, mobiles, tablets and app.

Usain Bolt is "sad" the focus is on doping ahead of the World Championships in Beijing but says he cannot save the sport's reputation on his own.

Bolt, who has never failed a drugs test, will race against American Justin Gatlin, who has served two suspensions for using banned substances.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin at the World Athletics Championships

Jamaican sprinter Bolt, 28, is seeking to retain his 100m and 200m titles.

"It's sad. People are saying I need to win for the sport, but I can't do it by myself," Bolt said.

"It's a responsibility of all the athletes to take it upon themselves to save the sport and go forwards without drug cheats."

The showdown between Bolt and Gatlin, who has the quickest times of the year over 100m and 200m, has been billed as a battle for the soul of the sport.

Gatlin's second positive test in 2006 would normally have earned him a lifetime ban but that was cut to eight and then four years on appeal after he agreed to co-operate with the anti-doping authorities.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Beijing
Athletics has always needed Usain Bolt, but never has its need been as great as this week.
Should Justin Gatlin be crowned world champion after two doping bans, in the biggest of all its finals this Sunday, it would encapsulate for many what has gone wrong and is still going wrong with the sport.
For Bolt, the pressure and expectation is both enormous and, on the two men's respective form so far this summer, possibly unrealistic, too.

The build-up to the championships, which begin on Saturday, have been overshadowed by accusations of widespread doping in the sport.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Brilliant Bolt regains world 100m crown

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has defended its record on doping.

"All I've been hearing is doping, doping, doping," said Bolt. "All the questions have been about doping."

The men's 100m final takes place on Sunday.

Gatlin is the favourite ahead of Bolt, who won his first Olympic title inside the Bird's Nest stadium seven years ago.

World Athletics Championships
Day-by-day guideHow to watch on the BBC
Lord Coe elected IAAF presidentKeep blood data private - Radcliffe

Top Stories