Calcutta: “I’m waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don’t create lies to make headlines,” tweeted Usain Bolt on Wednesday. The reason for his outburst was a report in The Times, London, saying that the sprint king has degraded the 20th Commonwealth Games, by saying that “the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was ‘a bit s***’”.
The report ran: “Usain Bolt’s tongue is even sharper than his running spikes. Yesterday, the world’s fastest man said that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was ‘a bit s***’.
“In somewhat of a grump, the Jamaican sprinter slipped out of the athletes’ village briefly to reveal that he thought that ‘the Olympics were better’. As he waited in the drizzle for his car — having just met the royals on their visit to the village — Bolt said that he was ‘not really’ having fun in Scotland and felt the Games were ‘a bit s***’, before leaving “to do some business”.
Bolt’s alleged remarks follow those of compatriot Kemar Bailey-Cole who, after winning the men’s 100 metre final, was asked how the food in Glasgow compared to that of London. He replied: “I can’t compare. London was really different food. It was way better than this. It could do with some more seasoning.”
But the Bolt camp has denied that the star had made any such remark. Bolt’s manager Ricky Simms also told BBC Sport the remarks attributed to the athlete were “utter rubbish”. 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, though, are sticking by their story, a spokesperson for the paper said. A Glasgow councillor, David Meikle, also tweeted: “Usain, can quite frankly, bolt. The #Glasgow2014 games have been great and successful without him. Maybe he should stick to adverts.”
Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said he would take Bolt “at his word” following his denial.
Speaking at the daily media briefing, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph, Hooper stressed the Commonwealth Games had its own identity and aims, different to the Olympic Games, and said he was “proud” of its status in the sporting world.
Asked initially about Bolt’s reported comments, Hooper said: “I think if you are up to speed you’ll know Mr Bolt has put out a Twitter comment.” Hooper added: “We take Mr Bolt at his word. We’re very pleased with how he’s responded and that’s our position.”
Referring back to Bolt’s weekend press conference, Hooper said: “He’s very upbeat, very positive, very focused on delivering for his fellow countrymen in the relay events.
Defending the Commonwealth Games, Hooper said: “We’re not trying to be the Olympic Games. We’re about the celebration of the Commonwealth, of 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.”
The Jamaica star will run in the 4x100m relay this weekend and on Tuesday attended a reception along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Bolt’s Jamaican sprint team-mate Jason Livermore was asked if the world’s fastest man was having an okay time, and said: “I hope so, better than me.”