London, June 4 (IANS/CMC) Anti-drugs campaigners have blasted Olympic sprint king Usain Bolt for a picture of a t-shirt posted on the internet which appeared to be promoting the use of Cannabis.
The world record holder over both the 100m and 200m distances was not wearing the t-shirts but posed with them alongside a bed, drawing criticism from fans alike, reports CMC.
The t-shirts are made by US firm ‘The Pothead Diaries’ whose website encourages potential customers to “express your inner pothead and celebrate our love for the culture”.
Lucy Rowe, a representative of Skunk Sense, a charity for people affected by the drug, criticised the sprinter for using his influence to send the wrong message.
“I would hope that such a charismatic young man who is very much a role model for young people would have more common sense than to give free publicity to a company which so blatantly promotes cannabis use,” declared Rowe in an interview with the Sun newspaper in Britain.
Mark Dempster, an addiction specialist, speaking to the Sun, accused the sprinter of promoting something that poses a danger to many young people.
“He’s using his position to promote something that can cause not just addiction, but also create mental-health problems for young people.”
In 2009 Bolt, worth 32 million euro a year in sponsorship deals, admitted smoking dope as a youngster in Jamaica, but said it was no longer part of his lifestyle.
Bolt’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment but the photo was removed over the weekend.