Bolt, Fraser-Pryce are IAAF athletes of the year
MONACO (AP) — Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were chosen world athletes of the year on Saturday amid increasing scrutiny into the efficiency of their country’s anti-doping program.
Bolt received the IAAF award for the fifth time. He won the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay at the world championships in Moscow last month. He won the same three races at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and 2009 worlds.
“It’s always an honor to be recognized by the IAAF and the fans as the athlete of the year,” Bolt said. “I just focus on doing great things, and staying focused is hard to do.”
Bolt finished ahead of world 5,000 and 10,000 champ Mo Farah of Britain and world high jump champ Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine.
Fraser-Pryce earned the award for the first time by regaining the 100 title at the worlds and anchoring the victorious 4x100 women’s relay. She also had the year’s best 200 time.
The other women’s nominees were world champion shot-putter Valerie Adams of New Zealand, and world hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic.
“I’m shocked and excited. It’s something that has been a dream of mine,” said Fraser-Pryce, who is the second Jamaican woman to win after Merlene Ottey in 1990. “Hard work is something that comes without saying for us to achieve the things we want.”
Both winners also received $100,000.
Jamaica’s anti-doping program was audited by the World Anti-Doping Agency after a former Jamaica director alleged it didn’t drug-test its athletes for entire months before they dazzled at the London Games.
The ex-director, Renee Anne Shirley, indicated a near-complete breakdown in the agency’s out-of-competition testing from January 2012 to the Olympics.
Before the Herculis meeting in July, Fraser-Pryce walked out of news conference in Monaco after doping questions following positive doping tests by American sprinter Tyson Gay and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell.
Powell, the former 100 world record-holder, and compatriot Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist, tested positive for a banned stimulant at the Jamaican championships. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica tested positive for a banned diuretic in May.