LONDON: Usain Bolt yesterday denied reports that he called the Glasgow Commonwealth Games “a bit s**t”, ahead of his appearance in the 4x100 metres relay.
History’s fastest man accused The Times newspaper of “creating lies to make headlines” after it reported he rubbished the 2014 Games while waiting for a car outside the athletes’ village.
Asked whether he was having a good time in Glasgow, the Jamaican sprint star replied “not really” and said that the London 2012 Olympics “were better”, according to The Times.
But Bolt’s manager called the claims “rubbish” and the athlete himself took to Twitter to deny the report.
“I’m waking up to this nonsense... journalist please don’t create lies to make headlines,” he wrote.
Bolt later turned up to watch Jamaica play New Zealand at netball, where he joined in with a Mexican wave and told reporters the Games were “awesome”.
Angus Macleod, The Times’s Scottish editor, said that the paper had “utter confidence” in the story and that the reporter has “verbatim notes” of her encounter with Bolt.
The six-time Olympic gold medallist is due to make his first appearance in the Commonwealth Games at the 4x100 metres heats on Friday, with the final on Saturday.
Organisers are already reeling from the withdrawal of top stars including double Olympic champion runner Mo Farah, cyclist Mark Cavendish and London 2012 heptathlon heroine Jessica Ennis-Hill, while Bolt will only appear in the relay event.
A Commonwealth Games Federation spokesman brushed off the reports, saying: “The Glasgow Games have so far been fantastic and everyone there, including the competing athletes, seems to be having a brilliant time.”
Bolt’s manager Ricky Simms earlier told the BBC that the reports were “utter rubbish”.
“The atmosphere in and around the stadiums has been absolutely fantastic and I have absolutely no idea where these quotes have come from,” he added.
Bolt arrived in Glasgow on Saturday, and endured an uncomfortable press conference in which he was asked questions about the ongoing crisis in Gaza and the Scottish independence debate.
Since then he has largely kept a low profile, but on Tuesday met Prince William, his wife Catherine and his brother Prince Harry.