The chase for new athletics thresholds and attendant woes
In the recent past the world record for the men’s 100m has been lowered in amazing fashion, much to the dismay of some, the chagrin or others and the joy of those who have accomplished the new feats.
Recent comments attributed to athletics legend, Carl Lewis, has raised eyebrows yet further than hitherto in respect of a concern over the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes.
Just prior to the commencement of the Beijing Olympics the international media raised concerns about the drug testing practices in Jamaica and this was supported in a manner of speaking by the head of the Regional Anti Doping Organisation (RADO). It is no secret that while in Beijing the Jamaicans found that their athletes were being tested in a manner that they may well have considered unfair relative to other athletes attending the same Olympics. This view was supported by the head of Jamaica’s anti-doping programme, Dr Herb Elliott, himself one of the officials on the IAAF’s programme.
In response to Carl Lewis’ comments Elliott noted that Usain Bolt was tested at home no less than 15 times during the course of this year.
At least one member of the Jamaican delegation to the Beijing Olympics was dropped following a positive drug test done at home. Again this was cited as vindication of the system in Jamaica.
Elsewhere in the world a number of Russian athletes were stopped in their tracks as they were about to embark on their journey to the Olympics. They were found to be carrying urine samples ahead of any drug test. It is presumed that they were planning to use these urine samples in the event that they were called in to undergo a drug test.
During the Games a very small number of athletes in different sports were tested positive and removed from the Games Village after their accreditations were withdrawn.
In the world of cycling we have had the Tour de France being dubbed the ‘Tour de Farce’ for the extensive use of prohibited performance-enhancing substances by the cyclists, especially those involved in the endurance cycling events.
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