If drug testing is going to be taken seriously, then the stars have to be tested and out of competition is the only and best way. Asafa has not been happy with the inconvenience, but it sure must make his sponsors happy when he passes a drug test. Bernard Lagat said it best today at the US press conference, " Look, if I need to have my blood tested, during training and they take a little blood, so be it, that is what we have to do to show our sport is clean and we are competing on an even playing field. " Jeremy Wariner said, " Testing means that all are racing clean and that is what it takes to show that our sport is clean, then that is okay."
EME NEWS (AUG 13, 2008)
JAMAICA: Second fastest man in history Asafa Powell, who is one of the favourites for the Olympics 100 metres, claimed that his preparations are being hampered by the amount of times he is being targeted for blood tests. He said he has been targeted four times since arriving in Beijing two weeks ago and expects to be tested again tomorrow. He said: "Two days ago, I got pretty upset because since I've been here they've tested me four times. They take blood. I'm saying that they're taking so much blood, we're going to be very weak before the final of the 100m," he was quoted.
FRANCE: 100 m European record holder Christine Arron almost set her room at the Olympic Village on fire. The French sprinter was surprised to be welcomed back by firemen after leaving cooking left unattended started burning. The French sprinter, who suffers from food intolerance had been provided with an electric cooktop to be able to cook her own meals. The problem ? All the instructions were in Chinese. "I had left my pan to cook over a slow heat, and went out for an hour but I had pressed a button and the temperature rose faster than expected. There was smoke and the firemen had to come. I first thought it was a joke, but when I came back, there was a smell of burning", said Arron who apologised.
ERITREA: The only Eritrea Olympic medalist (bronze in 2004 at 10 000 m) Zersenay Tadesse arrived on Tuesday well prepared to Beijing. The half-marathon world champion will compete in the longest track event the 10 000 m.
CROATIA: High jump star, world champion and world leader Blanka Vlasic has had a press conference before her departure to Beijing in her training hall in Split last monday. She was quoted as saying that she is ready for Beijing, preparation has been at highest intensity and very specific exercises and coaches father Josko Vlasic and Bojan Marinovic are very satisfied with the work she did. According to her father she is in her best shape ever. She is not planning to attend other sports as she is only focusing on her event and should not be not disturbed. Also she has been provided with a new special highjump spike during the last two weeks and she is ver happy with the outcome of this new product.
IRELAND: Ireland´s 400 m runner Joanne Cuddihy has had an injury season to date, with back, knee and calf muscle injuries disrupting her training programme and racing schedule. Last week team manager Patsy McGonagle rated her chances of taking to the track for her Olympic 400 metres heat next Saturday as 60-40. But early in the week the runner came through a 300 m track test at the Irish training camp in Matsue, Japan - meaning she will fly out to Beijing tomorrow with renewed confidence. Meanwhile, 100m hurlder Derval O'Rourke seems almost completely over her groin injury.
KINGSTON: Jamaican media are informing that there are no changes in the women 100 m team which means the world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown will not compete as she was only fourth at the trials. "There have been no changes to the team," team manager Ludlow Watts told JamaicaWin.com. VCB will son run the 200 m and 4x100 m relay at the Games.
BULGARIA: President of Bulgarian Athletics Federation Dobromir Karamarinov replied to questions of home media about possible difficulties of sprinter Tezdzhan Naimova and triple jumper Momchil Karailiev. Informs topsport.bg website. He categorically denied any connections of this to athletes to doping questions. They both flew during the week to Beijing.
SLOVAKIA: Slovak throwers were tested on Tuesday in Beijing. Hammer thrower Miloslav Konopka (his twin brother shot putter Mikulas was banned for life this year for second doping offence) and shot putter Milan Haborak (banned in 2004 for two years and was forced return before his competition started in Athens four years ago) were not with the Slovak athletes for 10 days training camp in Kochi, Japan but came last week to Beijing directly. Interestingly Haborak married the sister of Konopka twins.
TIME TABLE: The 1st round of women 1500 m will not be held on Aug 21 at 10 am, but the same day at 9 pm (three races) and after that finals (semifinals not held) as planned on Aug 23 at 7.50 pm.
CHINA: Hurdles star Liu Xiang is in preparation at secret place. Ha was also saved and not played any role at opening ceremony. "I will see you in Beijing and I will show you a fantastic Air Liu," he said at his website. Informs www.leichtathletik.de.
USA: US 10 000 m record holder Shalane Flanagan on Tuesday awoke with stomach distress that plagued her through most of a restless morning. Informs website universalsports.com. "Today the world kind of collapsed a bit," her coach John Cook said by phone Tuesday from Dalian, where the training camp for the U.S. track and field team is located. "She didn't sleep at all last night. It just came out of nowhere and she spent most of the night in the bathroom. We think it's food poisoning, but we're not sure." Whatever the cause, the problem delayed Flanagan's flight to Beijing by a day and forced her to miss at least one day of training. She spent most of Tuesday resting, rehydrating and trying to eat solid foods. Cook said there's a slight chance Flanagan will drop out of the 10,000 meters if the stomach problems persist for another day or two, allowing her to fully recover before the first round of the 5,000 meters begins on August 19. Cook said he will let Flanagan make the decision.
SWITZERLAND: Bad news from Swiss Team. Hurdles national record holder Andreas Kundert will not compete at the games. The reason is high fever and tonsillitis. He felt ill on Sunday evening and on Tuesday his visit by the doctors at Olympic Village confirmed that there is no chance he will be ready to compete when his event starts. He will fly back home in next days. He improved this year the Swiss record to 13.41.
GERMANY: Under question is the Olympic participation of shot putter Ralf Bartels who won gold at European Championships 2006. He suffered on Monday during a sprint training a calf muscle injury. Next today the problems did not went, but started to be even brighter. The decision whether he will compete will happen just before the Friday´s qualification.
USA: Bernard Lagat and Jeremy Wariner agreed at their press conference that Olympic gold is more important that any records. Lagat considers that if Kenenisa Bekele runs the 5000 m that will change the whole event. Both confirmed to feel in great shape and well prepared.
MARUGAME (JPN, August 11): Discus world champion, Estonian Gerd Kanter recorded a performance of 66.25m in a test competition, Monday in Marugame. His full series was 62.25; 64.70; 64.85; x; x; 66.25. Fellow countryman Märt Israel was second with a best throw of 63.43m and Swede Niklas Arrhenius third with 56.08m.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Russian Pole Vault star Yelena Isinbayeva and British 400 m runner Martyn Rooney are the European Athletes of July. Isinbayeva had a dream month, setting world records number 22 and 23 with a 5.03m clearance in Rome on the 11th followed by a 5.04m clearance in Monaco on July 27. She added to this by having big wins in Stockholm 4.85m on July 22 and at the London Grand Prix four days later, where she cleared 4.93m and narrowly failed at a new world record height.
Martyn Rooney on the other hand has been unbeaten all season and has now clearly established himself as the number one 400m runner in Europe. On the back of his impressive victory at the SPAR European Cup in Annecy in June, the 21-year-old of Irish parentage, ducked under the elusive 45 second barrier on two occasions the first of which was in front of his delirious home fans at the London Grand Prix in Crystal Palace on July 26th with victory in 44.83. He then improved further in Monaco two days later with a 44.72 victory for a European leading time to give himself a big confidence boost of at least making the final of the 400m in Beijing next week.
The runners-up were Blanka Vlasic, Naide Gomes, Anna Jesien on the women side and Yuriy Borzakovskiy, Marek Plawgo and Belgian runner Monder Rizki in the men poll.
Golden League wants to be global
BEIJING: Reports from IAAF Council meeting in the world media are showing that the new project of one day meetings to start in 2010 expects Golden League to be enlarged by three meetings in Africa, America and Asia. Information by Swiss Media. Another issue is the world championships competition time table and system. The finals should be more compact with 2-2,5 hours blocks of finals. All qualifications and heats will be staged in advance and the whole championships possibly already in 2011 in Daegu will be staged on 7 (and not 9 as currently) days. Another proposal is to stage continental qualifications just before the championships will start but on the same place. All of this is in stage of discussions and projects.
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, Publisher of EME News.