Usain Bolt is on top of the world at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, firmly at the center of attention after another gold medal win in the 200 meters on Thursday. But the Jamaican sprinter will likely draw some less-than-favorable attention after making negative comments about American Olympic legend Carl Lewis following his race.
After the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Lewis was critical of Bolt, and Jamaican track stars in general, floating thinly veiled accusations that the nation's athletes participated in doping. After picking up his second gold medal of the 2012 Games, Bolt fired back.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reports that at his post-200m press conference on Thursday, Bolt took the time to speak about Lewis.
"I'm going to say something controversial. Carl Lewis -- I have no respect for him," Bolt said. "The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he's just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him. I've lost all respect for him. All respect."
Asked why he feels this way about Lewis, Bolt responded that the comments Lewis made about doping were "really upsetting."
Lewis had plenty to say about Bolt and Jamaican running in an interview with British newspaper the Telegraph in 2008. The following quote offers just one example that makes it easy to see why Bolt would be offended:
"The reality is that if I were running now, and had the performances I had in my past, I would expect [doping critics] to say something. I wouldn't even be offended at the question. So when people ask me about Bolt, I say he could be the greatest athlete of all-time. But for someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don't question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you're a fool. Period."
While Bolt may be justified in his anger and lack of esteem for Lewis, you can bet that there will be plenty who will take exception to his comments. This almost certainly won't be the last word on the matter.
For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub.