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IAAF World Championships 2013: Win Solidified Usain Bolt as Best Sprinter Ever

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 11:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica prepares to compete in the Men's 100 metres Final during Day Two of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 11, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2013

There's fast, faster and the fastest. Then there's Usain Bolt.

Bolt demonstrated his continued dominance on the track with his gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2013 World Championships. Perhaps even cooler than Bolt's win was this photo, tweeted out by BBC Sport.

If there was any debate that the 26-year-old was the greatest sprinter in the history of track and field, he put it to bed on Sunday.

Some might argue that the specter hanging over the World Championships was too much to draw any sort of conclusion about Bolt. Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay were suspended after testing positive for banned substances. Yohan Blake was also out because of an injury.

Bolt can only outrun the guys beside him, and that's exactly what he did in Moscow.

When looking at the best ever, you've got the likes of Lewis, Powell, Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, Jesse Owens and Donovan Bailey. There's no way that Bolt wouldn't find himself at the top of that list.

It's hard to compare eras in any sport. In sprinting, that issue becomes even more difficult when you consider the advancements made in training and the science behind different supplements. Considering the stigma of doping in the sport, it's fair to say that drugs play a big part in track.

If Owens or Lewis had the things at their fingertips that Bolt does, perhaps they would have run the 100-meter dash in 9.58 seconds.

What makes Bolt the best sprinter ever is his continued dominance.

Sprinting very much has a "The king is dead, long live the king" attitude. One guy sets the world record, and then a year or two later, somebody else steps up to take his place as the world's fastest man.

Prior to 2012, nobody had ever been able to retain the 100 meter and 200 meter gold medals. That's exactly what Bolt did in London. With plenty of fans and experts predicting his demise, Bolt was once again head and shoulders better than the competition.

Since 2008, Bolt has been the undisputed king of track and field. Nobody has been better than him. There have been a couple of pretenders to the throne. Time and again, though, Bolt has reigned supreme when it counts the most.

When it comes to doping, you can't hold that against Bolt any more than you can so many other sprinters of their eras.

The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary 9.79* did a great job of casting doubt upon the career of Carl Lewis. Many thought Ben Johnson was the great villain of the 1988 Olympics, but that film did a lot to cast suspicion on Lewis' accomplishments.

You could go back decades, and there were probably plenty of runners who were getting an unfair advantage over their competition in one way or another.

Until Bolt tests positive for a banned substance, it's not a criticism you can level at him. He deserves the "innocent until proven guilty" defense.

Instead of trying to knock down Bolt, just enjoy what he's doing on the track. You're not going to see it for much longer.

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