Richard Kilty says he will never forgive his teammate CJ Ujah for his “sloppy and reckless” behaviour that led to Britain’s 4x100m relay team being stripped of their Tokyo Olympic silver medal.
Kilty also admitted that he is yet to work out how to tell his five-year-old son, Richard Jr, that his medal will have to be returned after Ujah’s failed drugs test was confirmed by the court of arbitration for sport.
“To finally reach the pinnacle and win an Olympic medal, and then to lose it because one person has just been sloppy and reckless with what’s gone into their body, is heartbreaking,” said Kilty. “Now he’s made that mistake I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive him because me, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake have lost a medal at the hands of his mistakes.”
His anguish was shared by his relay teammate Mitchell-Blake who said he was “heartbroken”. “I was happy that some news came out so we can actually get the process going,” said the 27-year-old sprinter. “But then it’s a nail in the coffin saying you’re getting stripped of your Olympic silver medal. It hasn’t really 100% sunk in yet, but when you say it and repeat it and think about it, it’s not a nice feeling. We’re all heartbroken by it. It’s gutting for us, the nation, everybody.”
Ujah said in a statement on Friday he had “unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement” and apologised to his “teammates, their families and support teams”. However, Kilty revealed that Ujah had admitted to his teammates in a Zoom call that he had been taking supplements that were not protected by being batch-tested by Informed Sport – meaning he had no defence when his banned test was revealed.
“We do a 45-minute workshop before we go to the Olympic Games,” said Kilty. “You have to do it. It’s mandatory. And it explains only take Informed Sports supplements.”
Britain were stripped of their silver after Ujah was found to have two banned drugs, ostarine and S23, in a urine sample taken at the Games.
“If you break the rules, you’ve got to live with the consequences,” said Kilty. “We know the rules. The rules are this – if you take drugs, you get banned. You’re cheating. I’m not calling out CJ. I’m not saying that the guy purposely went out and took drugs. Only he knows if he has or hasn’t. Could he look me in the eye and tell the truth? That is the question. Only he knows the truth.”
Kilty said that he had spoken to Ujah six or seven weeks ago, and he had told him that he had not used an Informed Sport batch of supplements – meaning he had no protection when he tested positive.
“For the last 20 years of my career – the same as the other two lads – we have worked our asses off. We have followed the rules, in and out. I know for a fact that I’m never going to fail a drug test for two reasons. One, I don’t take drugs. Two, every supplement and everything that I put into my body, that’s on me and I make sure whatever goes into my body is checked. My supplements are checked. And I know for a fact I’m never going to fail a drug test because I’m not a drug cheat and I follow the rules.”
Kilty also revealed he never had the chance to let his son take his silver medal into school due to Ujah’s failed drugs test – and now had to work out how to tell him that he would have to send it back. “When I finally brought the medal home my son was so proud of it,” he said. “I think he’ll probably understand it more in a year or two, when I can explain to him.
“But this case has also got to be an example to every young athlete in the country who comes on to the British athletics team who wants to be an Olympian. You are accountable for what goes into your body. Please check your supplements for yourself. For your teammates. Please follow the rules. Because me, Nethaneel and Zharnel have been burned by a teammate. It’s really important that we as a team now, you know, really impress that to the next generation of young athletes that this is what happens.”