Jamaican Olympic sprint hero Usain Bolt apologised over his comments on youthful marijuana use as reported in a German newspaper.
‘I want to apologise to the Jamaican people if at any time it may have come across that all young people roll a joint,’ Bolt said in a statement issued through his manager Norman Peart.
‘I would also like to urge the upcoming stars to stay away from any kind of drugs, as it is not of any value to them or the sport you participate in.’
Bolt, who stormed to three sprint golds in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was quoted by the Bild tabloid as saying: ‘When you’re a child in Jamaica, you learn how to roll a joint.’
The statement noted that Bolt, ‘although although admitting to trying marijuana as a child, has never used it as a competitor’.
The story sparked a storm of criticism in Jamaica, and Bolt called the situation ‘unfortunate’.
The Bild article noted that Bolt, 22, said marijuana was not part of his lifestyle. ‘Nobody in my family or those close to me smoke, and I don’t hang out with people who smoke.’
Bolt was at the Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championships in Kingston last week and encouraged all promising athletes to avoid any sort of drug use.