Bolt was recognized for his domination at Rio 2016 where he became the first person to win three gold medals as a sprinter in three consecutive Olympics.
Usain Bolt started making waves in the world of sprinting since 2004, but the world first took notice of the towering Jamaican when he sprinted his way to a treble gold at the Beijing Olympics 2008, since then there has been no looking back for this "once in a generation" athlete.
American gymnast Simone Biles was awarded the Sports Woman of the Year after she won four gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The winners, announced at a gala in Monte Carlo, were decided by a jury made up of members of the Laureus Academy made up of sporting legends.
Bolt is the reigning world and Olympic champion and is regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time and is certain to bow out holding the world records in both the 100m and 200m disciplines.
Usain Bolt won record-equalling fourth Laureus Award.
"Rio was a wonderful way to finish my Olympic career and receiving this Award adds to my personal sense of achievement", said Michael Phelps after winning the Laureus Comeback of the Year.
Carter's positive test resulted in him being disqualified from the 4×100 relay that nabbed gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the IOC announced in January.
After the award, the 30-year-old, who is widely expected to retire from the sport next year, told the audience that his story is a strong indication that anything is possible.
Here are the other stars who won the Sportsman of the award multiple times.
Leicester City's 5,000-1 Premier League title triumph was recognised at yet another awards ceremony, with the club handed Laureus's Spirit of Sport prize.
After two years of painful loss of formula one championships, Nico could finally place his hand on the elusive trophy beating his teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton during 2016 championships.