KINGSTON, Jamaica - Four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon believes the use of banned substances in track and field has tarnished the accomplishments of Caribbean athletes.

The Trinidadian sprinter also said in an interview with Radio Jamaica that he supports a lifetime ban for first-time offenders caught using performance-enhancing drugs.

"We are at the point where any more scandals and we are going to have a real problem," Boldon said Friday. "Any more scandals and people are no longer going to show up at meets."

Boldon said the positive tests of sprinters Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones have made a "victim" out of athletes like 100-metre world-record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica.

"People are no longer believing what they see," Boldon said.

Boldon says the positive drug tests of Merlene Ottey and Jamaica-born Linford Christie were tainted.

"They were at the end of their careers and I couldn't understand what the motivation was at that time to cheat," he said. "And sure enough we found out that a lot of the supplements in Europe were tainted and a lot of the athletes were caught up in it."

Boldon, who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, won two bronze medals at the 1996 Atlantic Olympics and one silver and one bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Last year, he became a senator in the island nation.