ATHLETICS: Usain Bolt's loss of an Olympic gold medal due to a relay teammate's doping infraction may see the sprint legend decide to run on until Tokyo 2020, former Australian sprinter Matt Shirvington has predicted.
Shirvington made the call after the International Olympic Committee confirmed that Bolt would be stripped of his Beijing 2008 4x100m relay gold medal due to a positive test from fellow Jamaican athlete Nesta Carter.
Carter tested positive to methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant, in reanalysis of samples.
His infraction means Bolt's iconic golden triple-triple - winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics - is no longer intact.
It also means that Bolt is no longer tied as the most successful Olympic track and field athlete of all time, alongside USA sprinter/long jumper Carl Lewis and Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi on nine golds.
Shirvington wondered on Fox Sports News 500 if the demotion may be enough to push Bolt, 30, towards another Olympic campaign.
He has previously stated that the August 2017 world championships in London would be his final meet.
"It may mean that he goes to Tokyo, because he's now become the second-greatest track and field athlete of all time," Shirvington said.
"Winning nine gold, the likes of Carl Lewis has done it through the '80's and '90s, Paavo Nurmi through the '20s as well won nine golds. Usain now has been stripped of that one, which takes him down to eight Olympic gold.
"So maybe, maybe there'll still be some fire in his belly to go on to Tokyo. We saw how dominant he was in Rio and whether he can do it again, I'm not sure.
"But maybe that will be the silver lining to all of this."
Shirvington said Carter's drug disgrace should not detract from Bolt's legacy.
"For right now, I think most sports fans would say that he's still perfect. In my eyes, he's still perfect," he said.
"He wasn't the one who was directly involved in that positive test, so for me, I still see him as that guy that is unbeatable in an Olympic arena."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.