Football

Usain Bolt may dump Australian club for Maltese’s Champions League prospect Valletta FC

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, who scored twice for Central Coast Mariners last week in a friendly defeat of Macarthur South West United has been offered a two-year playing contract by Maltese champions Valletta FC, according to reports.

Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist, has been on trial with A-League side Central Coast Mariners since August, and he scored his first goals for the club in their friendly defeat of Macarthur South West United on Friday.

He’s also trained with Stromsgodset and Borussia Dortmund, and played for the World XI at Soccer Aid 2018, and now the 32-year-old has been offered the chance to play professionally by Maltese outfit Valletta.

According to ESPN, the former sprinter has been offered a two-year contract by Valletta, who want to have him signed before their Maltese Super Cup match against Balzan on December 13.

Ghasston Slimen, the club’s CEO, said: “A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible.”

Valletta have won the Maltese Premier League on 24 occasions, including in the most recent campaign, 2017/18.

However, they were taken over by the Abu Dhabi-based Sanban group earlier this year, and now have ambitions to make their mark on the Champions League.

Despite their domestic dominance, Valletta have never progressed past the second qualifying round of Europe’s premier competition, nor have they made the group stage in the lesser tournament, the Europa League.

Australia’s anti-doping authority has defended its decision to test Usain Bolt after the former Olympic sprint champion questioned why he had been selected while he is on trial with A-League club Central Coast Mariners.

The eight-time gold medallist reacted with surprise after receiving a notice for a drugs test on Monday, just days after scoring his first goals in a friendly for the club.

In a video posted on Instagram story, Bolt said: ‘I asked the lady, “Why am I getting drug tested when I haven’t signed for a club yet?” and she said they told her I’m an elite athlete so I have to get tested.’

While Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) refused to discuss Bolt’s case specifically it pointed out the Jamaican fell within their remit.

‘ASADA cannot discuss specific testing missions,’ said a statement.

‘Effective testing programs are critical to protect the integrity of sport and the right of athletes to compete on a level playing field.’

Australia’s national anti-doping scheme applies to any athlete who is competing in a sport which has an anti-doping policy, as Football Federation Australia (FFA) does.

Rule 25 of FFA’s national anti-doping policy 2015 states the policy applies to all participants, including athletes ‘registered with, compete, train or trial with any club, team, association or league involved in our sport’.

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