Italy’s Olympic sprint champion, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, said he smiled after hearing that British sprinter CJ Ujah had been provisionally suspended for an anti-doping rule violation.
Surprise has been expressed at Jacobs’ performance in Tokyo, mostly by the British media, after he became the first Italian to win the 100m Olympic gold in Tokyo. Jacobs, 26, was seen as the underdog before he powered to victory.
He has taken the insinuations in his stride. “The situation hasn’t touched me so much, I know the sacrifices and blows I went thorough to get here,” Jacobs was quoted by the Italian sports newspaper, Tuttosport, as saying. “Instead, I want to enjoy it 100 per cent.”
He added: “Having seen the investigation into Ujah I would say that perhaps it’s better [for the British] to look closer to home before attacking others. It made me smile.”
The investigation into Ujah, who allegedly tested positive for two banned substances, could mean that the Team GB men’s 4×100 relay team face being stripped of their medals, with Canada upgraded to silver and China receiving bronze unless Ujah can adequately explain how the substances got into body.
If the suspension is upheld it would be the biggest doping scandal in British Olympic history, and will take some of the gloss off Team GB’s 65-medal haul in Tokyo. Ujah, meanwhile, would likely face a four-year ban.
Jacobs, who returned to Rome on Monday, was also part of Italy’s gold-winning 4x100m relay team. Giovanni Malago, the president of the Italian Olympic Committee, described the doping insinuations against Jacobs as “unpleasant”.
Italy came home from the Olympics with a record 40 medals, including 10 gold. Gianmarco Tamberi shared first place in the high jump. Others who won gold medals include Luigi Busà in the men’s 75kg karate and Antonella Palmisano in the women’s 20km race walk.
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