So Usain Bolt now has eight rather than nine Olympic gold medals. Does anyone think less of him for it? No. Is it bad news? Yes and no.
In my mind I can still picture Bolt handing over the baton to anchor leg runner Asafa Powell in the men's 4x100m final at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and then chasing him 10 yards down the track, bent with intent, cajoling, almost scolding him onwards.
Powell delivered, taking Bolt’s personal gold tally for the Games to three as he crossed the line in 37.10sec - a full three tenths inside the world record.
It was as exhilarating to watch as Carl Lewis's supercharged relay finish at the end of the 1992 Barcelona Games for which he had failed to earn an individual 100m place, an effort which first put that 37.40 world record on the books.
Speaking in Monaco last month on the eve of receiving a record sixth International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athlete of the Year award, Bolt named as his most special race the startling 200m victory he earned as a 15-year-old in the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships on the home soil of Kingston in Jamaica.
"To do that in front of all the country, that was the first step of my career," he said. "For me that’s the biggest step. But I also really enjoyed the 4x100m at the Beijing Olympics. That was awesome."
Bolt is likely to regret the tarnishing of that memory more than he will rue the loss of one of his golden Olympic discs. And that is not good news.
Powell finished about 15 metres clear. Nesta Carter, whose positive retrospective doping test formally lost him that Beijing 2008 relay gold this week - and thus, automatically, the rest of his team - had got Jamaica off to a promising start that nevertheless left most of the audacious running still to be done. He was hardly the decisive factor. But that is not how it works.
Athletes within all Olympic competitions are deemed responsible for what is in their body whether they are aware of it or not - as they gained an advantage from it whether they knew about it or not. What happens with relay teams when one of their number is found to have transgressed the rules follows the same principle of strict liability.
To all intents and purposes, the quartet is seen as a single body, one element of which is illegal.
According to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Disciplinary Commission decision, Carter provided a urine test on the night after the 4x100m final which did not initially show up any adverse finding, but when the stored sample was re-analysed with superior testing early in 2016 - and thus within the eight-year statute of limitation for such actions - the sample yielded "the presence of the metabolites of a prohibited substance, namely methylhexaneamine".
The document makes it clear that Carter told the IOC he had been taking two supplements, Cell Tech and Nitro Tech, under the direction of his coach, Stephen Francis.
Point 56 of the document observes: "Regarding the supplements, i.e. Cell Tech and Nitro Tech, the athlete explained that he had given several samples for doping controls whilst he was taking Cell Tech and Nitro Tech before the 2008 Olympic Games and he had never tested positive for a prohibited substance. He therefore did not believe that these supplements could contain prohibited substances. He did not understand how methylhexaneamine could have been found in 2016."
Point 90 observes that methylhexaneamine has been classified as a specified stimulant on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited list since 2011, and that it was "expressly listed in the closed list of non-specified stimulants" in the 2010 list.
"In prior lists," point 90 continues, "including the WADA Prohibited List 2008, applicable in this case, methylhexaneamine fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants. Under the then applicable system, stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be non-specified prohibited substances".
Point 91 notes: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed that the presence or use of substances falling within the scope of generic definitions of the Prohibited List, can be used as a basis of establishing anti-doping rules violations."
In points 105, 106 and 107 the Disciplinary Commission further notes "that the athlete did not provide any real evidence that the supplements he declared might have been the likely source.
"On the contrary, the fact that the athlete used such supplements regularly and that this did not lead to other problems, supports the likelihood that the source of the prohibited substance was not the supplements mentioned by the athlete.
"Such adverse analytical finding could also have been caused by the uncontrolled use of undeclared supplements such as the ones which were often found to contain ‘geranium oil’ and effectively methylhexaneamine."
Carter has 21 days in which to appeal this decision. In his defence it has to be said that retrospective testing which establishes, through more sensitive analysis, the presence of a substance widely known to be banned at the time the sample was taken is a lot easier to accept than a test which establishes the presence of a substance not specifically banned at the time.
Would Carter, would his coach, be reasonably expected to know about the range of banned stimulants that were "not expressly listed" until two years after the Beijing Games?
There remains the question of whether more team medals will be lost through Carter, who was in the Jamaican quartet which successfully defended the Olympic title at the London 2012 Games. He did not compete in last summer’s Rio Games where a third consecutive win brought Bolt’s Olympic gold total, temporarily, to nine.
The IOC is currently being opaque on this question, refusing to say, "for a number of reasons", whether Carter’s London 2012 sample - where the Jamaican men's 4x100m team set the current world record of 36.84 -passed re-tests.
Overall then, this case is not straightforward. Last summer Bolt described the prospect of losing an Olympic gold through the Carter case as "heartbreaking". But the fact that, painful as it is, the world’s best known athlete has lost a gold medal, and may lose more, because of the adverse findings of a team-mate is surely a badge of honour for the sport and the seriousness with which it is pursuing the cause of anti-doping.
Relay swimmers face the same justice when one of their colleagues is found to have failed a doping test, as do open water swimming teams and duets or teams in synchronised swimming or diving.
You can see the logic, harsh as it seems. But why does this harsh justice not apply more widely to other sports' teams?
Swimming’s world governing body, the International Swimming Federation, rules that water polo teams in which "more than one player" has committed a doping offence shall be disqualified from the matches in which those players took part, with the other teams being declared 5-0 winners unless they have managed an even larger score.
Wouldn't this be fair in rugby? Or, dare I say it, football?