The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jones fallout

The chatter on the message boards and in the press is full of shock and disappointment. Come on, folks. This is as surprising as if O.J. came out and admitted he killed his wife.

Or, more accurately, if he admitted that he only killed Ronald Goldman. Jones' admission is strangely narrow, covering just a two-year period. There was no spike in her performance that might indicated heavy PED use just then (although in 2001 she occaissionally was beatable). Most likely, her admission was just enough to cover deal with perjury issues and nothing more. It's entirely possible that her whole career has been boosted; she holds world records for 15- and 16-year olds but went out and hired Johnny Cochran to defend her from a missed-test sanction when she was in high school.

In his post 5 questions about Marion, Clay Parker asks "If Marion (with her talent) was using and "only" running 10.8s in '99 and '00, what does that say for everyone else that has run 10.8s or better. Are there any clean times in the top 20 ?" Leaving aside the issue of whether Clay meant 10.80 or 10.89, let's actually examine this.

Prior to the advent of random out-of-competition testing in 1990 and the '91-'92 fall of the eastern European governments that carried out doping, it's fair to simply say that the rules of competition were different. It was pretty easy to get around doping tests and even the positives were sometimes scrubbed. Tossing them all out removes some who were certainly on something (e.g. Marlies Göhr) along with some who were generally thought not to be (e.g. Evelyn Ashford) but it's like the javelin--new rules, new statistical lists.

Among those remaining, the following athletes have had doping issues, and their marks are removed from the lists:
Marion Jones (admission)
Chioma Ajunwa (lifetime ban)
Zhanna Block (implicated in BALCO but not banned; almost certainly recieved their products)
Torri Edwards (ban reduced; only once under 10.90 and wind-aided at that)
Chryste Gaines (BALCO-related ban)
Ekateríni Thánou (famous "motorcycle accident")
Kelli White (admitted)
Merlene Ottey was banned for a short time but her ban was reversed and her name cleared.

Of the remainder, Ivet Lalova is widely considered to have caught a flyer when she ran 10.77, and Liu Xiaomei and Li Xuemei ran strange times under strange conditions in a strange meet. Since these were one-off performances for each athlete, they get stricken from the record as well.

What remains can be looked at in two different ways. By official time:
10.73 Christine Arron 8/19/1998 Budapest
10.74 Merlene Ottey 9/7/1996 Milano
10.77 Irina Privalova 7/6/1994 Lausanne
10.78 Merlene Ottey 9/3/1994 Paris
10.79 Inger Miller 8/22/1999 Sevilla
10.80 Merlene Ottey 7/13/1992 Salamanca
10.81 Inger Miller 8/22/1999 Sevilla
10.81 Christine Arron 8/19/1998 Budapest
10.82 Gail Devers 8/1/1992 Barcelona
10.82 Sherone Simpson 6/24/2006 Kingston
10.82 Gail Devers 8/16/1993 Stuttgart
10.82 Merlene Ottey 8/16/1993 Stuttgart
10.82 Gwen Torrence 9/3/1994 Paris
10.82 Gwen Torrence 6/15/1996 Atlanta
10.82 Gail Devers 7/7/1993 Lausanne
10.82 Gail Devers 6/17/1993 Eugene
10.82 Irina Privalova 6/22/1992 Moskva

and then by wind/altitude adjusted time:
10.75 Gail Devers 8/1/1992 Barcelona
10.76 Juliet Cuthbert 8/1/1992 Barcelona
10.77 Sherone Simpson 6/24/2006 Kingston
10.77 Irina Privalova 8/1/1992 Barcelona
10.78 Inger Miller 8/22/1999 Sevilla
10.79 Gwen Torrence 8/1/1992 Barcelona
10.80 Merlene Ottey 9/3/1994 Paris
10.80 Gail Devers 8/16/1993 Stuttgart
10.80 Merlene Ottey 8/16/1993 Stuttgart
10.80 Merlene Ottey 9/6/1997 Tokyo
10.80 Gail Devers 8/23/1996 Bruxelles
10.81 Inger Miller 8/22/1999 Sevilla
10.82 Merlene Ottey 8/1/1992 Barcelona

In any case, sub-10.80s are exceedingly rare, and only Sherone Simpson has approached it once the BALCO hit the fan.

No comments: