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The Washington Post isn’t afraid to visit the subject of doping. They are, as they wrote, suggesting that 100m Olympic Champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs, “may deserve the benefit of the doubt, but the sport doesn’t.”
What does that even mean in the case of naming the particular athlete while citing his new level of performance?
It’s a passive-aggressive piece of editorial designed to grab the reader rather than honestly visiting the history of doping that plagues the sport.
Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago said on Tuesday, “doping suspicions aimed at Italy’s 100 metres Olympic champion, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, are embarrassing and unpleasant.”
Perhaps the Post is story-bating their readership.
Jacobs won in the time of 9.80. Admittedly, the performance is outstanding. His best leading up was just 10.03, fast, but not Olympic medal calibre. However, warm temperatures (of over 30 degrees) are believed to be of benefit to sprinters. Also, the track surface is considered fast, which was confirmed by Canada’s, Andre De Grasse, in a post-race interview with CBC. De Grasse himself broke the Canadian 200m record in his heat, a performance typically reserved for a final.
Jacobs’ performances in the 60m, 100m, 200m and long jump have improved each year consistently and in a similar pattern, as indicated on the World Athletics website. His 60m indoor performance from March of 2021, was not quite, but nearly the same quality as his 100m Olympic final. It was a performance of less importance, where he ran a World Athletics ranking 1227 in the time of 6.47. The 9.80 is ranked at 1276, better, but during a much more important event.
Is the American media jealous that Italian-American Jacobs chose to run for Italy? If so, where was the concern when Greek-American Alexi Pappas competed for Greece during the Rio Olympics? Perhaps if she won a medal, only then would she be a traitor or doper.
Jacobs mother is Italian, while his father is American. He spent parts of his childhood in both countries.
Not mentioned are the new super spikes, which have produced personal bests, meet records, national records and area and world records over the past two years at the highest rate in decades, if not history. The records have been set more in the middle distances and long-distance races, however, the super spikes have been anecdotally proven to benefit runners. What is scientifically proven to benefit distance running on the roads are the carbon-plated super shoes. The spikes can’t be far behind.
Perhaps the Post is justified in questioning Jacobs performance, while somehow deserving the benefit of the doubt, a rather confusing perspective. Wait until they write about Karsten Warholm’s 400m hurdles performance. The Norwegian’s new world record is so far off the charts that it may be considered one of the greatest athletics performances in history.