Usain Bolt has claimed he would have no problem handing back his 4×100 metres relay Olympic gold medal from Beijing 2008 if Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter is confirmed to have failed a drugs test.
Carter, winner of the gold medal in the Chinese capital along with Michael Frater, Asafa Powell and Bolt in a world record time of 37.10sec, was one of 31 athletes to test positive following the retesting of samples using new methods, according to reports.
The 30-year-old reportedly failed for banned stimulant methylhexanamine.
insidethegames reported on Thursday (June 9) that his B-sample also tested positive.
The Jamaican Olympic Association have confirmed an unnamed athlete from the country had failed at Beijing 2008, but neither Carter nor his agent, Adrian Laidlaw, have commented on the reports.
Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record holder and six-time Olympic gold medallist, told Reuters: "It's heartbreaking [the positive test] because over the years you've worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion…but it's just one of those things.
"Things happen in life, so when it's confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal I'd have to give it back, it's not a problem for me."
Carter, one of Jamaica's most successful sprinters, also won an Olympic relay gold medal at London 2012 and at three separate editions of the World Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The International Olympic Committee are already re-testing all London 2012 samples submitted by athletes who failed in Beijing.
The case is slightly complicated, however, because methylhexanamine was only added by name to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list in 2010, although it was indirectly banned before then in a catch-all category.
Carter could face a backdated ban of two-years, the maximum sanction for the offence at the time of the WADA rules, although some past methylhexanamine cases have resulted in a warning rather than a ban.
"I can't tell what he [Carter] is going through, but it must be hard and frustrating because as I said I'm not too pleased about the situation," said Bolt yesterday after clocking a season’s best time of 9.88sec in the 100m at the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica’s capital Kingston.
"I think it's rough for track and field, but it's just one of those things that happens and we just have to deal with it."
Jamaican Sports Minister Olivia Grange insists she will be "closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds over the coming weeks".
"It is understandable that there may be some level of anxiety and concern about this news, particularly as we look forward to the 2016 Olympic Games in just a few weeks," she said.
"This is not a matter in which we can afford to be cavalier with the rules and the procedures, it is in everyone’s best interests that due process evolves as it should."
If the Jamaican team lose their medal, Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago’s team of Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman and Marc Burns would be promoted to the gold, with Japan taking silver and Brazil bronze.
Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee President Brian Lewis claimed, though, the situation will give the entire Caribbean a negative image.
"It will be unfortunate because it is a Caribbean country involved," he told Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday.
"This does not give us great joy.
"The competition is decided on the field.
"We take on the world as Caribbean countries and make statements.
"We compete hard with our fellow Caribbean countries but we are all Caribbean."