Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 1:26 PM

The Fix Is In for Usain Bolt to Have a Fairytale Ending…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Canadian Andre De Grasse, arguably the top rival to Usain Bolt, will miss the world track and field championships due to a strained right hamstring suffered Monday. ‘Andre had his final starting blocks session in preparation for Friday’s 100m heats,’ De Grasse’s agent said in a text message. ‘On his final run of the day, Andre pulled up with what he described as ‘a grab’ in his right hamstring.’

(NBC Sports, August 2, 2017)

Yeah, right.

I smell a rat, especially given this:

Usain Bolt’s management have refuted suggestions that the Jamaican had Canada’s Andre De Grasse ‘booted out’ of tomorrow’s Monaco Diamond League 100m race after reports that the eight-time Olympic champion was running scared of his younger rival.

De Grasse, who won silver bronze behind Bolt at last year’s Rio Olympics, has been tipped as a natural successor to the Jamaican and was snapped up by Puma – who have long been associated with Bolt – for a seven-figure sum last winter.

De Grasse is due to appear in Monaco, where Bolt will run 100m, but only as part of a Canadian 4x100m relay team – thus avoiding a head-to-head with the Jamaican, who has been well below par so far this campaign.

(The Telegraph London, July 20, 2017)

To be fair, fight promoters routinely bribe lesser-known boxers to “take a dive” to guarantee victories for reigning champions. The careers of everyone, from Muhammad Ali to Floyd Mayweather, are littered with such dubious bouts.

But a better analogy might be the way Formula 1 teams order one driver to let the better teammate pass, or even win outright:

Just three races into the new season, Mercedes has already imposed orders on Valtteri Bottas by telling him to make way for [Lewis] Hamilton twice in one race—Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

One of the instructions came in the closing stages, when Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton pass so he could chase down Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

(Associated Press, April 17, 2017)

Therefore, one can hardly blame Puma for prevailing upon De Grasse to help fix a swan-song victory for Bolt. This seems the least it can do for the athlete who has been its cash cow for over ten years.

What’s more, De Grasse is poised to inherit Bolt’s role (at Puma and on the track). And chances are very good that Puma will prevail upon a cash calf someday to do for his swan song what he is doing for Bolt’s today.

All the same, I doubt this victory will ease the anxiety Bolt is bound to experience in retirement. For he’ll be wondering if or when doping, which I suspect he’s guilty of, will nullify the greatest victories of his career; you know, the way it nullified those of Lance Armstrong’s.

Related commentaries:
Bolt doping suspicions

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