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A few of the top male and female sprinters from Jamaica and the USA have had recent out-of-competition blood tests return positive, indicating the use of performance enhancing drugs. The short list is impressive and includes most notably Tyson Gay of the US as well as Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson of Jamaica. There are several more unnamed athletes, rumoured to be from Jamaica that apparently have had positive tests.

Powell, in a typical initial response, guilty-as-charged defensive bit of posturing said, “I am not now — nor have I ever been — a cheat,” proving delusion is a symptom of vanity, if he expects the public to buy it.

Powell who owned the 100-metre world record of 9.74 until Usain Bolt bettered that time in 2008, was calling for an investigation as to how a stimulant called oxilofrine entered his system and caused a positive test at Jamaica’s national championships in June.

Open note to Powell:

Oxilofrine is a stimulant related to the banned amphetamine Ephedrine, you know, that cold medicine ingredient that was killing apparent otherwise healthy baseball and basketball players and even the odd person using the cold medication for its intended purpose of relieving cold symptoms. How it got into your system does not require an expensive investigation, all you have to do is swallow. The other half of your question where you were wondering how oxilofrine caused a positive test also does not require an investigation. Once you swallow it, and then you get tested, it causes a positive test. That’s how USADA and WADA work, their primary function is to find cheats. That is why they are funded to the tune of 26 million dollars USD (2011 funds. Contributions by member nations and International Olympic Committee).

To round out the tutoring in anticipation of you wondering aloud what happens next; you get banned. It is a legal process, where USADA exercise their laws governing the sport to give you – a first-time offender – two years off.

Simpson has won Olympic gold and two silver medals. She also tested positive for the same stimulant, said she “would not intentionally take an illegal substance of any form into my system.”

Gay, the American-record holder in the 100, in a vain and pathetic effort to gain public sympathy by hiding behind a thinly veiled attempt to take no responsibility whatsoever for his actions said, “I don’t have a sabotage story. I don’t have any lies. I don’t have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games,” …and, “I don’t have any of those stories. I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.”

He was doing so well until that final sentence. What I would like to know is, did he trust someone with his drugs and they failed at masking them successfully? Or did that “so-called” someone rat him out for taking them? Perhaps there is not another person, which is an interesting, but poorly placed sleight of hand. He could blame someone else to deflect and at the same time not actually burn a bridge, because that bridge doesn’t exist. Maybe he is just disappointed with himself. Gay said he would pull out of next month’s world championships, which is yet another thinly disguised attempt at being heroic. He would be either banned and dropped by his sponsors or at least booed relentlessly and then dropped by sponsors. It would look way worse if he was banned first though, so smart move.

The 30-year-old apparently will go to great lengths to gain public worship. As a man who won the world championship in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay in 2007, he used his name to take part in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s “My Victory” program — in which athletes volunteer for enhanced testing to prove they’re clean. Travis Tygart CEO of USADA has not yet revealed the substance. Gay’s “B” sample will be tested soon, possibly as early as this week.

Generally, first-time offenders are hit with two-year bans, though reduced penalties are sometimes given if there are extenuating circumstances, which both Gay and his coach, Lance Brauman, said there were.

Gay’s coach, a naive Lance Brauman said, “He mentioned that he trusted someone and that person was untrustworthy at the end the day,” Brauman told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “Maybe I’m naive, but I believe him.”

The news came a month after another Jamaican Olympic gold medallist, Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic. Campbell-Brown is being suspended while a disciplinary panel reviews her case. Track’s governing body said the case appeared to involve a “lesser” offense, which could mean a reduced sentence for the 200-metre champion at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

Campbell-Brown also refuses to accept blame as shortly after news of her positive tests, her agent, Claude Bryan, said his client is not a cheat and she does not accept the charge “guilt of willfully taking a banned substance.”

“This result has left me completely devastated in many respects,” said Powell, who didn’t qualify for individual spots at worlds but could still make Jamaica’s relay team if his positive test doesn’t net a suspension. “I am reeling from this genuinely surprising result. I am confident, however, that I will come out stronger and wiser and better prepared to deal with the many twists and turns of being a professional athlete.”

Powell is indeed fast. While in the same interview he moved from complete denial and shock to looking forward to competing as a professional athlete again. Powell, Simpson and Gay prove again that delusion is a symptom of vanity.

Follow the discussion thread about the positive test results: https://athleticsillustrated.com/discussion/the-running-community-group4/open-running-forum-forum3/gay-powell-and-simpson-thread34/


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