Last Updated on March 10, 2013 by Jimson Lee
This must be the surprise of the year!
Yohan Blake run a 19.26 200 meters at the 2011 Brussels Diamond League meet.
The wind was + 0.7, and with a pretty bad reaction time of 0.269 sec.
Walter Dix comes second in 19.53.
When Yohan Blake ran back-to-back 100m in 9.82, my guess his potential was a 19.64 +/- 0.2 seconds, so in the 19.44 to 19.84 range.
To run 19.26 just missing the World record of 19.19 is simply a shocker.
This is the kind of race that reminds me of Mike Marsh in the 1992 Olympic semi-final 200 meters. Just run your own race and relax. Relaxation is the key.
Below is the video on YouTube.
What do you think? Legit? Faulty photo-finish equipment? Faulty wind readings a la Flo-Jo?
Could you stop printing results in the title? This meet won’t be televised in the US until Saturday. I would prefer to watch not knowing who has won.
Jimson Lee says
@bpeck, oops, sorry, it won’t happen again… as the track season is now finished :o)
A faulty readings and equipment? In 2011? Diamond League? Is that a joke? This are not US olympic trials 23 years ago. This result shouldn’t be questioned.
Jimson Lee says
@Janus, A diagonal wind can help a 200 meter better than a tailwind. So maybe the last 100m had a +0.7 wind, but what was the force from 40-100m on the curve? Maybe a +3.0?
Mr Jimson Lee, in your opinion, you think that last 100m Blake was fastest in the history?I think that was sub 9.2 clearly..,Please when you can reply my question.
Mr Jimson Lee, please, could you reply me?im almost sure that Blake if really he made 19.26(i have little doubts error clock)he would have best last 100m in the history because he had bad first 100m with horrible reaction 0.269, perhaps he made 9.15 or less Mr Lee, which is his opinion?
Jimson Lee says
@Harry, Usain Bolt’s splits from his 19.19 WR were 9.92 and 9.27. Based on video, Blake’s handtimed splits were approx 9.9 and 9.1. Blake wasn’t trying to set the WR. He was concerned about beating Dix. Thus the lesson here is, world records and personal bests happen when you run relaxed and run your own race. Trying too hard will cause you to tense up.
That could be said just about any great 200m time. You are overanalyzing this because you are surprised by his performance. I knew last year that he will be capable of running something like 19.35-40 in the future. He surprised me as well, but not enough to immediately call it faulty equipment. The wind was steady all day in Brussels, I doubt there were sudden gusts of +3.0 on the curve.
Jimson Lee says
@Janus, faulty equipment does happen, just ask any Masters sprinter at USA indoor champs this year. (it also happened in Edmonton 2001 World Champs) But I have to give credit to Blake, as he did surprise me with that performance. “Theoretical calculators” work for about 95% of the time, and he just proved to be that 5% anomaly. Good for him, and good for the sport. We need this type of competition to save our sport. 2012 will be great!
somehow jamaicans became extremly talanted exactly from 2008…
thats rediculous. its abnormal to reduce PR for 1/2 of a second from that high class time 19.78 to 19.26 !!!! I understand Bolt, has height 195, bigger strides, but Blake …
I would like to know what training Yohan has been doing all year…if he was concentrating on the 100m with only a few competetive 2’s then to run 19.26 with a bad start is amazing. The great MICHAEL JOHNSON would say this has to be down to excellent speed endurance, so what is his program???
Asafa mentioned he might have a crack at the 200m next year and says he can run it, what an awesome 200 season there could be, if Gay and Spearmon could get back to form also….
I see now, that legends like Carl Lewis, Maurice Greene e.t.c. Are nothing in comparison with the new ones. I do not see where Walter Dix is better than Lewis. What is his advantage to run that crazy times (19.53,19.69…).
how jamaica for example, without a male 100m olympic medal for 30 years now has 4 of the worlds fastest 6 of all time. And 5 Jamaican men got into all-time top 10 at 100m from 2008 to 2011 ? (Powell from 2005). 9 ran sub-10sec, 6 sub-9.90 (2008-2011). The best jamaican sprinter before that was Raymond Stewart with his 9.96 in 1991. and Percival Spencer with 9.98 in 1997.
I am not against jamaicans or other athletes. But against somebody from farmakology world, who desided to make money from Jamaicans, like some agents does from Kenians.
The fact Jamaican’s are dominating the sprints has everything to with the fact that Jamaica is concentrating on sprints with great athletes and outstanding coaching. Myths such as “He is too tall” and other things not never made analytical sense, are being debunked by the results of Jamaican sprinters.
Athletes and coaches if they are smart, get stronger and faster by improving upon programs from the past. Many coaches here in the United States continue to recycle programs and myths from the past instead of improving upon past experiences. I may be stepping out here but how many coaches in the United States would have moved Usain Bolt to the 400M because of his height under the belief that he would never have an effective start?
I am actually enjoying the advances in the sport and happy to see these incredibly fast times. I am not buying the pharmacology or faulty equipment arguments either.
I don’t like your insinuations because your arguments are…well, stupid. Jamaicans got talented from 2008? Were you living in a cave this past decade? Every single Jamaican that’s dominating the field at the moment was a phenomenal junior athlete who’s success was easy to predict. Usain Bolt was a youngest world junior champion and he holds a World Junior record for 200m. Yohan blake was running 10.1 on 100m as a junior and is the youngest sprinter to break 10s. Asafa Powell was dominating the field before you even heard of Bolt. He broke 10s back in 2004 and the WR in 2005.
Jamaican genetic potential (and Caribbean in general) can be seen through the past three decades. Some of the fastest American (Canadians included) sprinters were from Jamaica. Donovan Bailey, Olympic gold medalist as a prime example. Hell, I’ll even take Ben Johnson as an example, despite the scandal he is still one of the fastest sprinters that ever lived (because let’s face it, Carl wasn’t clean either, his failed test is publicly available).
The success can also be explained with the improved training conditions due to huge success both Asafa and Bolt brought to Jamaica.
When it comes to PEDs, if they are in the game, the field is leveled, trust me. There’s no drug in this world that would be available in Jamaica and not available in US. May I remind you that BALCO was situated in US?
Jimson Lee says
I’m going out on a limb here, with my inside knowledge of the sport, but it is a level playing field out there. The only difference is out-of-competition drug testing. Also, you are allowed two “missed test” where the third test is considered a “failed test”. The missed tests are not made public.
Yes Mr Jimson Lee, then perhaps the time for first 100m with horrible 0.269 could be around 10.10-10.15 electronic and last 100 around 9.10-9.15?Im almost sure that his last 100 was fastest in the history, because his first 100m was not good…
Ben Johnson ran 9.79 and was on banned, Steve Mullings banned for the second time. So 9.58 and 19.26 now are legal? Carribeans are very gifted from the nature, but what i am talking about is not how many Jamaicans break 10 sec, but how abnormaly fast they progressed in a short period . Linford Christey, Dwain Chambers, Ben Johnson and many many other athletes are from Jamaica, but never perform like that, even they had much better training conditions then majority of Jamaicans. I am speaking about drugs, that are being designed to not failure drug test. Beleive me, i am very long time in proffesional athletics. Almost every OG or WC partisipant is using PEDs, the difference is in PED’s quality :)
gosha i can understand your opinion when a new unknown runner run very fast time, but Bolt???He was world junior champion with 15 years 20.6, sub20 with 17 years, for you he had PEDS when he was teenager?sorry i dont think it talking about Bolt…
Are you seriously claiming that Jamaicans have access to superior drugs? That some lab offered designer drugs exclusively to poor Jamaicans over Americans? Give me a break. If like you say, almost everyone is using PEDs, then you should know that drugs don’t directly make you faster. They primarily deal with recovery. You can put in more work and thus have better results. In essence, there is no difference between furazabol (what Ben Johnson used) and THG (Balco), performance-wise. That way, if you have multiple designer drugs (that’s what you claim if they are all using it), there can’t be one drug that makes you more faster than the other. Both deal with the same thing and the only nuances are side-effects (performance i.e for ex. does it make you tight, and health effects).
This ain’t Captain America, there’s no miracle drug with such potency to produce a super athlete out of everyone. The field is leveled, what decides the winner is superior coaching and genetics.
And a slightly offtopic: Ben Johnson had 9.72 in reality because he shut down at the end in Seoul. He had a potential for 9.6X according to late Charlie Francis.
For a true level playing field, mandatory BLOOD TEST every athlete for every National and International meet! Additionally, absolutely no “missed tests” allowed, in or out of competition! With so much money, so many records and reputations on the line, that is only rational and fair, not just for the athletes but also for the fans.
Janus. I understand that we both are not able to proof our opinion.
From what i know exactly, there are things that can create horse from a donkey, beleive me. Yes ,Usain is phenomenal talent.And i bet, if put all today’s sprinters together and make sure they are all clean, Bolt will beat them anyway, but not with 9.7’s. But this things happen not only among Jamaicans, but also among US athletes,(you forgot M.Jones? Gatlin,Montgomery , Larry Wade,L.Merritt?) because labs are in the US, but not all the athletes has access to designer’s PEDs.
Thats the biggest problem of modern athletics. Let everyone use everything, or control production.
But for the people who know physiology, its easy to see ,who is who.
There are no things that “can create a horse from a donkey”. Drugs are there as a bridge from the limits of your performance potential to something more. You can’t pick a guy from the street and train him to win a medal at Worlds. Also, that “something” can only be reached with proper coaching. I don’t understand why do you keep pushing that “too many Jamaicans break 10s, they must have better drugs” theory.
We established that you are wrong about the “sudden” Jamaican success. But I know you will keep pushing the same thing and that I won’t change your mind.
So, we will have to agree to disagree.
Harsha Sankar says
Dear Mr. Lee,
Please give me the precise splits for Yohan Blake’s 19.26 in September 16th’s
200 as soon as possible.
Very Truly Yours,
maurice macdonald says
Anyone who really believes that third world Jamaica could get drugs that the rest of the first world can,t get is a MORON,let me write it again MORON. Where are your powers of thinking. Please note ,i,m an American,but a thinking one.
Jamaican was always running 2nd and 3rd behind Americans,because the Americans were on drugs. look how many silver medals merlene ottey have all because the Americans were on drugs. now that the testing is better, the playing field is level. Secondly, if you notice the top Jamaican athlete train at home did not go to US college where they’re over work and burn out. thirdly, Jamaica have better coaches from kindergarten all the way to university. In the 70’s the Government build GC Foster college. to train coaches in different sports. this project is now bearing fruits. these coaches are in every school from kindergarten, middle school, high school and university.
we are speaking different languages,Janus. The thing is the RATE of result’s progress among Jamaicans in the last 3 seasons.Before that only US athletes came from nowhere and drop tenths ,and seconds from their bests.
You can’t train anyone from the street to World champs, thats 100% true.
The cleanest athletics season for my memory was in 2003, when THG was opened and stimulator Modafinil, look at the results at the World champs in Paris. And i haven’t seen too many “talanted” Jamaicans among medalists.
The most stupid opinion is that americans used PED defore, now they not, and clean Carribeans now win and run faster :)))
I see you guys are very very far from real athletics kitchen :)
I do hope none of the Jamaican talents today are on drugs, and I thought Blake was great before his 100m gold or 19.26. However I can see some of Gosha’s point. Over decades of sprinting, there has always been one or two sprinters that stand out at any one time, carl lewis from calvim smith (us) linford christie (uk) maurice greene (Us), donavon bailey (canada) gatlin (us) powell, bolt (janaica). for them to run 9.9 was running great sprinting. suddenly over 3 years, jamaica has mullings 9.8 beinning of season, nesta carter – who! running 9.79, blake 19.26, bolt 9.58, powell 9.7 without trying, let alone all the other sub 10’s. its just odd that suddenly 9.8 is seemingly easy and the 5 best running it are all jamaican, surely there would be someone else in the mix. Dix of late, yes, but no-one else.
Also, if Blake (who I genuinely do like)was beaten to bronze from gold by UK’s Harry Aitkens Areeytey in the world juniors, then surely harry AA would be up there with the worlds best now and not running 10.1 – 10.3 over and over. If Harry suddenly ran 9.8 I would be sceptical.
One more point, and am sure Jimson Lee would have to agree, there is a considerable element of speed endurance to the 200. The greatest MJ took 10 years to drop from 21.5 to his 19.32, 10 years of hard, hard work. Blake, who is faster over 100m has seemingly run past MJ’s 19.32 without even trying and hardly even running any competetive 2’s. HOW?
Doug, the discussion is not whether they are on drugs or not, for the sake of discussion we can assume everyone is, it’s that gosha claims that they have access to superior drugs which is nonsense.
Doug, that is exactly what i wanted to point on. Not to belittle the hard work and talent of jamaican sprinters.
I beleive that Steve Mullings was banned, so others could still run. Its usually happens in the US, ban someone, just to show that we fight against dope
A couple of points:
1. Are we framing the question incorrectly here? Instead of questioning the access to effective drugs, shouldn’t we rather question the difference in morals of the testing authorities in various countries?
2. Doug asked how Blake could run a 200 like Michael Johnson without all of the years of speed endurance work. My answer to that is as follows: Blake’s speed reserve destroys MJ’s; this does not mean that he has better speed endurance than the best 200/400 runner of all-time. I don’t have the numbers to prove it, but I can almost guarantee that Johnson maintained a higher percentage of his max speed than Blake (or Bolt) in his 200. This is the true definition of speed endurance. Blake and Bolt just have higher max velocities to apply their lower maintenance percentages to.
The fastest ever recorded 100m is by Bolt when he set 150m world best time (14.35s) when he ran the last 100m in 8.70s. Powell has also matched this in the anchor leg of a 4x100m relay. The 150m course was straight though.
Bolt’s recent 9.76was interesting as Carter was ahead out of the blocks and still had a yard by the halfway point, the point where Bolt usually really drives and opens up that trademark lead. But Bolt came through well at the end, and worked hard for that time. I think in optimum conditions, a good start and a bit more endurance for the late stages of the 200m we could see a 19.10 from him. Similarly a low 9.5 over 100m.
Blake will make Bolt work even harder – Bolt usually pulls the others round, Blake has the potential to pull Bolt round. 2012 is going to be a great year, especially if Powell and Gay get back on top form.
yes i am jamaican and yes they are on drug mostly and mostly everyone in the to 15 to 20 ranking of track and field . jamaican track star have to take drug because if they dont they are not going to make any money . track is a drug infested sport just like all pro sport so when it comes to making money you have to us drugs to win and when you win you make the money . its sample have that and taking drug get to the top people wake up. they need to just make everyone take it , its not going to stop greed
Fred B says
@Gosha…I think you are overlooking the well over a hundred US athletes who have tested postitive for banned chemicals in their body over the last 10-15 years alone. I think you are overlooking that Carl Lewis and two of his training partners TESTED POSITIVE for banned stimulants in the ’98 Olympic Trials but were allowed to compete and (wouldnt you know) that was the Olympics in which Johnson also tested positive but was banned (kind of ironic dont you think?), this information was released by former senior US anti-doping offical, Dr Wade Exum. I think you’re overlooking how Maurice Greene and John Smith were so intangled with the Balco scandal that only a fool would think that they were innocent. Greene wired over $30k to Heredia and that is a fact….his defense? He did it for a friend and didnt know what the $30k was for?!?! HUH, no one pays someone $30k for a friend and not know what its for……Dont know what I’m talking about, I wouldnt be surprised, so do your research and educate yourself in regards to Greenes involvement with Balco and give me your honest opinion on whether or not was innocent or not. And isnt John Smith, Carmelita Jeters coach? Why dont you look at old pictures of her before she was being trained by him and how feminine her physique was. Lets be honest what womans head gets bigger in her 20’s…well Jeters did….look at the pics.
Gosha, you make a point thats only valid to a recreational track and field viewer. Do you really believe that Jamaica has only now starting producing quality athletes….No, Jamaica is only now refining the quality athletes they’ve always had. Case in point—-The annual Penn Relays, Jamaican high schoolers have been running the equivalent of top US 200m/400m/800m HS times for almost 30 years, look at the results from the Penn Relays website on their relays times, splits and 400IM times.
To you Blake is a “NEW” name but for some of us we’ve known of this young man for 4 years already (mind you he’s only 21). When Bolt first broke the 100m WR in NY a few years ago (actually 2007)Blake already had a name in T&F but only if you were into all of T&F and not just the elite Pro level. (Jamaicans have been saying for some time now that when their careers are over Blakes best will better Bolts best) That same year while only 17 he ran a 10.11/100m, a 20.60/200m and split a 45.40/400m at Penn…if he was an American high schooler who then went to college and represented America with his current times I’m confident you wouldn’t second guess him, would you? Consider Kirani James….is he new to you? Well some of us have know about this young man for 3 years now, at 14 years old he was running a 46.96/400m (at 14!) a 45.70/400m & 21.38/200m at 16 years.
Lastly, here in the US in HS some of the best sprinters consistently come from Texas, California and Florida….Why? The weather. When you can train all year likes its spring or summer with a quality coach, your best come out of you. Well Jamicans have that weather and a lot of sand (and yes training on sand does make one heck of a difference in your performance)plus the fact that there athletes are not considering football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf also makes a difference….Something you should consider.
Funny how Americans can always point the finger at a ‘cheat’ but overlook that the facts show that no one has cheated more than them and more ‘cheats’ from America have gotten the rules bent for them than anyone else. I guess you might not have heard about this US 400m runner named Lashawn Merritt who tested positive for a banned substance but his sentence was reduced this year just so he could compete at the World Champs in order to get the US that 400m silver…..selective memory huh?
Jimson Lee says
Food for thought…
Harsha Sankar says
The splits for YB’s 19.26 was 10.24(first 100 meters) and 9.02 (2nd 200 meters).
The splits for some of the best 200 meter races are here.
It can be seen how difficutl is for the white athletes to achieve under sub 20 run in the 200 meter. Lemaitre is a rara avis, as well
Harsha Sankar those splits where did you see them?I saw in some newspapers european splits 10.14 9.12 that looks more logical…
Harsha Sankar says
I received that from someone in Racers Track Club. However, he was not certain.
I believe European Newspapers are more accurate.
P.S. Please give the 4×100 meters splits for Jamaica in the WC final?
ok then you should think more around 10.14 and 9.12 ;)
For 4×100 splits i dont have official splits, only i saw splits in trackalerts, im not sure if the times are realistics but i think that around it could be:
10.35 – 8.90 – 9.09 – 8.70
Harsha Sankar says
If UB ran 8.70, then he should receive credit as tying AP.S record in the 4 X 100 split. Wikipedia should be notified.
Well Harsha Sankar is not official i only saw it in trackalerts, i only can to be sure that Bolt made 8.70-8.80 but well trackalerts published those sprint relays although are not official
Harsha Sankar says
Doping policies need review.
In competitive sports, there has been a shift from one extreme to another. It is so extensive
now that athletes are being subject to multiple tests and harassment. They are
too comprehensive, picking up anything from cough medicine, herbal remedies,
cortisone, supplements, to ADHD medicine.
The worst part are these tests are interpreted subjectively. These tests have never
been calibrated for false positive ratio. Moreover, no baselines in body chemistry have
been established. For example, a positive in synthetic testosterone in men could be just
a boost in natural testosterone.
Therefore, it is possible that innocent people, such as perhaps Justin Gatlin and Floyd Landis, will be falsely punished and labeled. It is also likely that a positive may be accidentally acquired.
Do not athletes have the right to repair their bodies and relieve themselves of pain
just like everyone else? Obviously in the case of Ben Johnson, whose yellowish eyes and
bulging veins were a dead giveway or Chinese women and Soviet bloc women, whose
masculinity were blatant, behooves the need for testing. However, testing should be
limited to basic anabolic steroids in men and testosterone in women.
On the flipside, testing may not be necessary at all. After all, is it not the intent of all
medication to “enhance performance” , whether one is a professional athlete, a doctor, or
a short-order cook? Here is a rule to understand- If any potent drug is taken when there
really is no need, only harm will result. There has been a lot of people brainwashed into
thinking excessive drugging can help create super athletes. That simply is not the case.
The body is the ultimate healer of itself. Drugs and surgery can only facilitate.
The athlete still has to execute in practice and in competition. The 100 meter
dash, for example, may look simple to a “layman”. However, it is highly intricate and
technical. Excessive unnatural therapies will only impede communications between
the brain and central nervous system to the necessary body parts. Athletes like
Ben Johnson took steroids because he perceived a psychological edge. That edge
was merely dependency and fallacy because there was no permanent physiological improvement. Ben Johnson would have run the same times without
Unless therapeutic, protracted drug use usually hinders rather than enhances
performances by causing iatrogenic difficulties. Paranoia is a bureaucrats’ dream but
an athletes’ and fans nightmare.
The preceding is an obvious example of international organizations, usually in
collaboration with BAR legal systems, wielding unbridled power. In the name of making something perfect, they will in turn ruin it. These concerns about “doping” are just false pretenses for them to arrogate themselves power, terrorizing and harassing people in the process.
The preceding is also how science can be contaminated and distorted by
bad politics. Too many medical community members are just simply not
thinking common sensically.
Very Truly Yours,
908 Valley Ridge Road
Covington, Virginia 24426
Harsha Sankar says
It’s On Now!!! Bolt vs. Blake!!! USAIN vs. YOHAN!!!UB vs. YB!!! Since Mr. Blake,who happens to be Mr. Bolt’s training partner, ran that ridiculous 19.26 200 meters, UB’s life has changed totally. Before that,25 yr.old Bolt had planned on winning OLY 100 &200 titles and then retire from power sprints to pursue the 400 and LJ. While he may repeat in London, he won’t retire. He can’t knowing 21 yr old YB could break his WRs the following year or two. Powell and Gay are aging. Young churchgoing non-drinking Blake will make Partying”Guiness Man” Bolt alter his lifestyle.Bolt’s “Wild Women” days and slacker practices are over. Life is going to become much more intense in the sprint world and the world is better off.
Harsha Sankar says
Dear Harry or Mr. Lee,
Could you give me the splits for UB’s 19.40 WC victory?
Harsha Sankar, study biomechanical in Daegu gave 9.97 to Bolt in his first 100m, so in his last 100 his result will be 9.43.
You will have noticed that Blake’s actual RUNNING time during his 19.26 was 18.99 (18.991 maximum) [!!] compared to Bolt’s 19.057s (= 19.190 [photofinish] – 0.133 [R.T.]), making Yohan at least 0.066 seconds faster than Usain on that distance.
The wind, however, turned out to be 1 m/s more favorable for YB (+0.7 vs -0.3).
Yes i would tell that with difference in wind(+1.0 for Blake), Blake and Bolt ran more or less same without reaction time.
@Harsha – your right on what you said mate about Ben Johnson running the same times if not on drugs; just look at poor old Dwaine Chambers, sub 10 (9.98)before drugs 1999, sub 10 on drugs and 11 years later sub 10 (9.99)whilst being one of the most tested athletes in the UK; guess it didn’t make too much difference. And I say ‘poor old Dwaine’ not cos I condone drug use in track but he’s been punished over and over again yet has been brave enough to fully admit his wrongdoing and get on with the job in a gracious manner whilst no one letting him run. It must make it harder for him seeing americans running in olympics and worlds within months or year from being caught and the uk system still punishing him years after being caught (i.e no olympics for life)I think the IOC or IAAF should have the say on every nations athletes not that country themself. Maybe thats me just peeved that the uk’s best sprinter by far doesn’t run and instead we use that jumped up little wannabe Mark lewis francis instead – may aswell let me race Blake!!!
@fred B – maybe I am naive, but i didn’t know anything about greene on drugs; if this is true I’m gutted…I always watch Maurice music sprint compilations on youtube before going off to races…if someone proved to me MJ was on drugs (no chance) I think I would take up swimming or something instead!!!!
Harsha Sankar says
The IAAF has become a tyrannical organization. Their oppressive doping policies are persecuting too many innocent athletes.
Athletes have the right to use medicines to recover from injury as well as to relieve themselves from pain. Medicines used just for performance enhancing will not achieve the desired result. That misuse will cause iotrogenic issues only.
Perhaps Dwain Chambers, with the assistance of British officials or royalty, should change his citizenship to one of the Commonwealth nations so he can participate in the London Olympics.
Very Truly Yours,
Fred B says
@Doug – A TON of track fans dont realize how involved Mo Greene and John Smith were when it came to the BALCO scandal, honestly there involement did not reach the TV news that much. (And I wonder why) However the facts involved are all over the internet, its pretty sad from reputable websites. Mo Greenes career (for me, at least) did not exist. He’s a joke, his antics were a joke and John Smith is a joke.
As for MJ, I’ve never heard his name invloved at any time for substances during his entire career. (Well nothing credible) That guy will always be one of the best I’ve ever seen compete….Its a shame he never had anyone push his during the end of career in those 200’s.
Brett Wilson says
One word: dopey! :D
Some quick thoughts on PEDs
– I’ve always been very wary of labeling someone a drug cheat simply because when I was in HS one of my rivals was often called one by my teammates, thing is, we ran similar times, very similar in fact. We were rarely more than a few tenths apart.
So what did they say about me when I wasn’t around?
Meaning that while it’s fair to be suspicious in certain cases, it’s also fair to be suspicious of the accuser. No one accuses the guy who came in last in the first round, when he could just as easily be a drug cheat too.
– It’s also worth noting that not all “positive tests” are created equal.
LaShawn tested positive for DHEA, well:
1) It’s not proven to have much benefit (not much better than a Placebo)
2) It’s sold over the counter in the US:
This is a local store around Seattle (Where I live): http://www.supersup.com/mrm-dhea-25-mg-90-veggie-caps-609492410023
GNC is national: http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4276175&CAWELAID=293850553
Now think about how many OTC snake oil supplements are out there that may contain banned substances….
…it’s something that cracks me (in a way) since many of the teammates I’ve had screaming drug cheat at people over the years, gave a lot of money to GNC….
Now consider people getting banned for items in legit OTC meds like cold medicine (Carl Lewis, so he says at least) for non steroidal things like stimulants and pain killers. At the end of the day a lot of HS (and college) have tried drinking a ton of Red Bull or similar things to make them run faster, I doubt it really works.
So how many things are people taking, getting busted for, etc that don’t actually work and/or are innocuous things that the people at home saying drug cheat are taking for colds and other ailments?
A German Speed Skater got busted for having higher than expected testosterone levels, got banned for a few years, yet she was able to prove that it was a genetic condition and tests of other family members proved the same thing.
That’s the other issue, not everyone’s body is the same.
All that being said, I appreciate the over vigilance. I don’t want to watch people using synthetic hormones, HGH, etc.
I know the sport is dirty, but I hope that the frequent testing, the athletes who volunteer to be tested more, the fact that everyone was tested at worlds (the fallout from that could be interesting), contributes to a situation where at least some of the people I’m watching are doing it naturally.
The fact that in the women’s events, no one is even close to the times from the late 80s gives me some hope on the women’s side.
That being said, I’m not assuming anything until someone is caught.
The great thing is that in our Sport you get caught and your career is arguably over. You lose old accolades, you lose money (and in track you EARN your money, you don’t make 7 figures for riding the bench and being a scrub), and you lose time in a sport with a short-self life.
It’s not like American Football where you lose a game or two, keep your rookie of the year award and your team suffers no penalty as far as games.
E.g. it could be a lot worse, a lot worse.
If track were like the NFL, Marion Jones would’ve had to sit out a few meets, kept her old medals, etc.
Scorn and an apology on ESPN, and that’s about it.
Just some perspective.