Usain Bolt denies slating Commonwealth Games
The Jamaican athlete and fastest man in the world was quoted in The Times newspaper ahead of his much-anticipated appearance at the 20th Commonwealth Games tomorrow.
Asked outside the athletes’ village if he was having fun in Scotland, he is reported to have replied: “Not really.”
But Bolt said on Twitter: “I’m waking up to this nonsense... journalist please don’t create lies to make headlines.”
And his manager, Ricky Simms, told the BBC the reports were “utter rubbish”.
Mr Simms added: “The atmosphere in and around the stadiums has been absolutely fantastic and I have absolutely no idea where these quotes have come from.”
Six-times Olympic champion Bolt arrived in Glasgow on Saturday and confirmed he would be running the 4x100m relay heats on Friday as well as in the sprint relay final on Saturday, the final day of athletics competition.
Yesterday, he chatted with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the athletes’ village, tweeting afterwards that it was an “honourable” meeting.
Bolt has yet to race this year after taking time to recover from a foot injury but said he was in ‘’pretty good shape’’ and looking forward to getting races under his belt.
He also said he was eager to make his Commonwealth Games debut having missed the Melbourne Games through injury in 2006 and not appearing at the Delhi Games in 2010, which were held in October.
Bolt’s decision to compete in Glasgow gave the Games a huge boost with other stars like Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mark Cavendish not appearing in Glasgow.
Shona Robison, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games, responded to the reported comments before they were dismissed by the sports star.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Your Call programme: “Everybody has had a fantastic time.
“The feedback from the athletes - I was in the village the other day - they are having a great time. They have really praised the facilities.
“The spectators, they are just having a ball, cheering everybody on. It’s a great atmosphere. Glasgow is fantastic and the Games have been amazing on so many fronts - so well-organised and a great experience for everyone involved.
“That’s what everybody is saying, not just me. Everybody who’s been here has had a great time and I think that speaks volumes to what the real story is about - these Games and about Glasgow and Scotland.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation said it was “pleased” with Bolt’s response to the report.
Chief executive Mike Hooper told this morning’s Games briefing: “We take Mr Bolt at his word.
“We’re very pleased with how he’s responded and that’s our position.”
Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle said: “I think he woke up to the story like everyone else.
“His tweet says it all. He has woken up to something he didn’t believe he said yesterday.”
Mr Hooper said of Bolt’s press conference appearance on Saturday: “He’s very upbeat, very positive, very focused on delivering for his fellow countrymen in the relay events.
“He has said what he’s said and I don’t wish to comment on the journalistic work of The Times.”
Mr Hooper said of the competition: “We’re not trying to be the Olympic Games.
“We’re about the celebration of the Commonwealth, sport and culture within the Commonwealth, and what a fantastic event we are seeing here in Glasgow.
“These Games continue to go from strength to strength.”