The Times has stood by a quote in which Usain Bolt (pictured, Reuters) described the Commonwealth Games as “a bit shit” – after the athlete condemned the report as “nonsense”.
Reporter Katie Gibbons yesterday reported that Bolt told her he was “not really” having fun at the Games and believed “the Olympics were better”.
The paper today reports Bolt as doing a “U-turn” by describing the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow, as “awesome”.
It said that Bolt’s publicist, Ricky Simms, had described the story as “utter rubbish”, adding: “I have absolutely no idea where these quotes have come from.”
But The Times reports that Simms was not present during the interview, and Scottish edition editor Angus Macleod said: “We stand by this story 100 per cent.”
It comes after the Jamaican athlete tweeted yesterday: “I'm waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don't create lies to make headlines.”
Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said he accepted Bolt's version of events.
Hooper said: "We take Mr Bolt at his word. We're very pleased with how he's responded and that's our position."
According to The Times, the encounter went as follows:
Katie Gibbons (KG, Times reporter): Hi Usain, I'm Katie Gibbons, a reporter from The Times. Nice to meet you.
Usain Bolt (UB): Hi.
KG: How are you?
KG: So are you enjoying the games? Are you having fun?
KG: Really, why not?
UB: I'm just not… it's a bit s***. (Shrugs, looks up to grey sky).
KG: What do you mean?
UB: I've only been here two days.
KG: Is it like the Olympics?
UB: Nah. Olympics were better.
KG: Really, how?
KG: Where are you off to now?
UB: To do some business.