The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Have You Heard the News?

This morning I turned on ESPNews to see if the Tigers won last night (they did not). I saw on the ticker that they would be reporting some track news; I figured it would be Asafa Powell's umpteenth 9.77 yesterday in Zurich.

But when it comes around, it says Marion Jones tested positive for EPO. Yesterday, I'd read she left Zurich in a hurry early in the morning, citing "personal reasons", and it doesn't take much of an imagination to come up with a reason. Ato Boldon had recently hinted online that more heads will roll, and maybe this was it. Or maybe not, and there's more to come.

Of course, there's the usual heavy criticism and various worries that this will destroy international-level track. Let's get real folks; this is about as stunning a discovery as when Nathan Lane publicly admitted his homosexuality. It's not as if no one ever suspected her. Back in June, an anonymouse USATF official wished she'd just go away. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

Are there any top-level athletes who aren't on the juice? Well, it's difficult to prove a negative. Certain top-level coaches have good reputations, though. Clyde Hart's training group includes undisputed 400-meter king Jeremy Wariner and queen Sanya Richards. Art Venegas, one of the world's best throws coaches, reportedly threw Brent Noone out of his training camp on the mere suspicion of steroid use (a suspicion which turned out correct). Sweden's champion jumpers look like human beings and I've never heard any whispers about them. I'm not sure any world-class pole vaulters have ever come up positive. And so on.

No, the sport will go on and do fine. It's going to be a painful few years as various long-overdue drug enforcement upgrades come on line, but I predict a better sport in a decade. Maybe I'm wrong to be so optimistic, but there's got to be an increasing level of fear amongst the dopers.

No comments: