Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt had perhaps the greatest performance in track and field history in Beijing, winning gold medals and setting world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400-meter relay.
But this is track and field in the 21st Century, so it wasn't long before Bolt faced questions about whether he was cheating with performance-enhancing drugs. And some of those questions were raised by none other than Carl Lewis, who said of Bolt's performance, "if you don't question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you're a fool. Period."
On the upcoming edition of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Bolt responds to Lewis's comments for the first time.
"Yeah, I knew that was going to come," Bolt said in an interview with Gumbel. "You can't be stressed over what people say. ... It doesn't matter what people think, as long as people know I'm clean and I'm doing this sport clean, it doesn't matter what people want to say."
Bolt's answer is the right one, in the sense that he does himself no favors if he engages in a debate with Lewis -- or if he tries to prove a negative, that he hasn't used performance-enhancing drugs. There's just no sense in Bolt trying to convince people that he's clean.
But the truth is, it does matter what people say. And if Bolt is telling the truth, it's too bad for him that as long as he lives, people like Lewis will never stop saying they question his accomplishments.
Real Sports debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. and re-airs throughout the month.