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Usain Bolt (above) was stripped of a 2008 Olympic gold medal because relay teammate Nesta Carter failed a drug test | © Flickr/Neil
Usain Bolt (above) was stripped of a 2008 Olympic gold medal because relay teammate Nesta Carter failed a drug test | © Flickr/Neil
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Usain Bolt Isn't the Only Olympian to Lose a Medal Because of a Teammate

Picture of Michael LoRé
Sports Editor
Updated: 22 February 2017
This isn’t the first time it’s happened and it surely won’t be the last — a group of people are penalized at the fault of one. Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter in history, has been stripped of the gold medal he and his teammates won as part of the 4×100 meter relay team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing because Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance, the International Olympic Committee announced.

Bolt, who had an unprecedented treble-treble (three gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games) now has eight golds to highlight his decorated career.

According to a report, the IOC said Carter tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine in a re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Games.

Here’s a look at some other Olympic athletes who had to forfeit their medals as a result of a teammate:

2000 United States men’s 1,600m relay

Alvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew, Calvin Harrison and Michael Johnson won gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but were forced to hand in their medals in 2008 when Pettigrew admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his running career.

2000 United States women’s relay teams

Marion Jones won three gold medals and two bronze at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney but was stripped of all her medals after admitting to steroid use in preparation for the Games. Jearl Miles Clark, Monique Hennagan and LaTasha Colander, her 1,600 meter relay teammates, were also stripped of their gold in 2008 following Jones’ admission. Two years later the women (not including Jones) were awarded their medals back.

Jones’ admission also affected the bronze-winning 4×100 relay team, but Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards and Nanceen Perry regained their medals in 2010.

2004 German equestrian team

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the German equestrian team was penalized after Ludger Beerbaum’s horse, Goldfever, was found to have been given a banned substance. Germany’s gold medals were converted to bronze.

2008 Norway equestrian team

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Norwegian rider Tony Andre Hansen’s horse, Camiro, tested positive for capsaicin (which is banned in equestrian sports). Norway’s equestrian team was forced to turn in their bronze medals.


This massive state-sponsored doping scandal has tarnished Russia’s impact on the Olympic Games, resulted in countless medals being relinquished and many bans. Russian officials have recently admitted to an “institutional conspiracy.”