The sport of athletics: Caught in the act of falling down

August 17, 2015 0

© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Hell hath no fury like that of an old boys club collectively tipping backwards in their boardroom chairs and landing with a resounding clatter upon their marble floors. Scotch and Bourbon everywhere.

The sport of athletics is in crisis mode.

It is a bit rich accepting doping control advice from a professional cyclist. Oh the shame. Athletics must be very close to rock bottom.

There is already enough shame heaped upon the shoulders of athletes, agents, coaches, administrators and would-be and soon-to-be presidents. Now to beat all, two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, a cyclist with Team Sky thought it would be appropriate to tell the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to do more on doping, like cycling does.

The IAAF responded by saying, “Cycling is not spending as much as athletics to combat doping.” The IAAF went on to provide data to back up their position.

The Briton claimed the testing “hasn’t been at the level that it is in cycling”, adding investing heavily would be “a step in the right direction”.

No one has suggested that Froome is of higher intelligence or possessing working-the-room, putting-out-the-vibe diplomacy skills, therefore no one was let down when he opened his gaping yaw about doping in athletics.

Read more here.

Lord Sebastion Coe possesses a very strong resume and is clearly the front runner in the campaign to become the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over Sergey Bubka. So much so, that Coe was given space to completely fall down on the campaign trail when he criticized the ARD Television documentary that exposed a lack of effort to act on positive doping tests. He was especially critical about the scientists that ARD relied on to provide technical information around the leaked list of drug tests.

Here is Dr. Michael Ashenden’s, well thought out response.

The damn already broke, but…

The damning documentary by ARD that suggests that one third of all podium finishes from recent global championships had suspicious blood values is bufffered by an anonymous survey of athletes who took part in the 2011 Daegu IAAF World Track and Field Championships, where one third of athletes admitted to doping. The Sunday Times claimed that the IAAF suppressed this information. Read the article here.

The IAAF responded by saying that they did not suppress the information, which is an interesting thing to say, when no one knew of it, until now.

Here is the IAAF’s response – they have had to respond to a lot lately.

American Nick Symmonds is not going to the 2015 Beijing IAAF World Track and Field Championships. He is the national champion. He is in fact the six-time national 800-metre champion and Moscow Worlds silver medallist – defending bridesmaid. He is not going because he refused to sign an agreement that was vague and could be interpreted as all-encompassing. United States Track and Field worded the vague agreement poorly and admitted so. A spokesperson with the USATF didn’t even know that the agreement went out.

But he is still not going. This is what he told New York Times Reporter, “They are trying to tell a 31-year-old man what he can and can’t wear 24 hours a day, what I can sleep in, what I can go to the bathroom in, what I can have my morning coffee in,” Symmonds said Tuesday. “That’s like saying, ‘You’re a child, and we’re going to dress you.’ Change my diaper while you’re at it.”

Apparently Symmonds was raging on caffeine – an ingredient in his Run Gum that he promotes. Rumour has it that he is also not in peak form. It was likely a stealth move to call the USATF’s bluff, not sign the agreement and avoid being an unarmed negotiator, you know, in case he ran poorly at Worlds. Everyone loves a winner or a shrewd negotiator.

Here is the New York Times article.

Runner’s World reported that Jill Geer of the USATF changed her position:

The requirement for U.S. athletes to wear Nike-branded apparel at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing is not all-encompassing, and team members with sponsors other than Nike can wear their sponsor’s gear on many occasions during the meet, USA Track & Field has told Runner’s World Newswire.USATF Public Affairs Officer Jill Geer made those clarifications after six-time national 800-meter champion Nick Symmonds refused to sign USATF’s “Athlete Statement of Conditions” and was left off the team for Beijing. Symmonds, who is sponsored by Brooks, contended the statement’s requirement that team members wear Nike-branded apparel at official team functions could be interpreted to mean the entirety of an athlete’s time in Beijing.He is still not going and furthermore, the vague agreement did have the wording in it about packing only Nike brand gear or non branded gear. Which tells us that Geer’s response is disingenuous.Turkish drug cheat, first of 28 to be named in IAAF re-test

Meanwhile the world awaits, with baited breath for the other 20-something athletes who will have their names announced for failing drug tests. Four Russian women are believed to be implicated, but that is just rumour. So far here is the first of 28:

Turkish athlete Elvan Abeylegesse was banned for testing positive from IAAF re-tests from stored samples. This one is the fourth fastest all-time in the 10,000m event with a personal best of 29:56.34. She is originally from Ethiopia. She won two silver medals from two different Olympics and one silver from the world championships. She will not be able to compete in the 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Thirty one Turkish athletes were suspended last year in one fell swoop from testing positive for anabolic steroids. Good riddance.

Hothead lets loose and threatens to kill

Lord Voldemort, Nike’s Global Director of Athletics John Capriotti let loose on Danny Mackey, a former employee who is now the Brooks Beast Head Coach. Story goes that Capriotti raced over to Danny Mackey at a track meet and threatened to kill him. You can read the sensational story at Let’s Run and also see the Police Report that Mackey called in.

The Steve Mullings WTF story

An older story that is getting some attention right here at Athletics Illustrated is of the supposed sabotaging of blood samples of Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings. He received a life time ban for a second positive test that he says was tampered with. He asked for a DNA test to prove his innocence and was denied.

Mullings wrote a book about it called, Banned for Life. The media has not wanted to cover this story, so Athletics Illustrated talked to Mullings. You can read the interview here. Also, Athletics Illustrated received an anonymous letter from someone who appears to claim to be a former employee of either the Jamaican Anti-Doping Agency (JADCO) or Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA). You can read it here.

British Charity blasts British Government for not giving the money they owe

British charity Directory of Social Change (DSC) have blasted the Government for failing to repay money they claim is owed to charities and communities used to fund the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The money, which they claim is around £425 million ($665 million/€594 million), was diverted from the Big Lottery Fund by the Labour Government in 2007, the DSC allege, sparking outrage among several sectors of Britain.

The adverse reaction caused the Government to pledge to repay the money but they have now said it could take up until 2030 to return the funds, leading DSC to accuse them of shirking the issue.

Read more, here or just shirk the story, its bad enough as it is.



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