WADA has a new code for 2009. They are asking for a one hour window, 365 days a year where the elite athlete can be contacted or found. While this is similar to the rule in British athletics, which banned Christine Ohuruogu, the Osaka and Olympic champion at 400 meters, for one year, it is being criticized on several fronts.
My beef with WADA is that they are supposed to be the good guys. But, instead of finding protocols for testing that make sense and can be considered peer reviewed or scientifically tested, they play the ends justifies the means game. WADA needs to remember that a long term approach is better than something haphazard.
Our society values sports and wealth in unhealthy ways. People who we would not want for neighbors we watch on weekend cable TV as they play for professional teams. Something is wrong here.
The charm of our sport is its purity. Watching kids race across the playground or throw the javelin for the first time is fun. Those newbie javelin throwers would be in awe seeing Jan Zelesney throwing the javelin.
Think about Usain Bolt this summer. Pure racing. Was Usain happy after his races? That was not acting, that was a young man surprised even at his own performance? The 200 hundred meters, in my mind, was a tremendous race! It was the race that Usain wore himself out over!
We welcome testing in our sport. But we also have to make sure that athletes know that there is right and wrong, that athletes should be held at a higher standard, in training, in competing and in life.
The great dancer and choreographer, the late Martha Graham, said that " dancers were athletes of God. " Bill Bowerman, the coach from Oregon and co-founder of Nike, said that "If you have a body, you are an athlete."
I always like to fuse both Graham and Bowerman. We all have bodies, so we are athletes. Our movement, whether it be throwing, jumping, or running, can be interpreted in dance, so we are all celebrating movement, hence we are also athletes of God. Athleticism then becomes more a celebration of what we have, at whatever level. The honesty, and purity of movement is bastardized with performance enhancing drugs, whether one is caught by WADA or not. But that requires a conscience and ethics and a conscience are not much in fashion these days.
EME News, December 12, 2008
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Great Ethiopian Run announced that its campaign for the 2008 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run raised close to 250,000 birr to date (the equivalent of 25 000 USD). The campaign entitled Dream Campaign 2008 was organized in collaboration with UNICEF and the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Taskforce. Four charities working with orphans in Addis Ababa have been nominated as beneficiaries of the funds. Organizers are informing in a release. Race organizers said that they will continue to raise money for the campaign in 2009 in connection with next year's race.
EDINBURGH (GBR): 2007 World CC Medalist Kenyan Bernard Kipyego will switch his road running shoes for cross country spikes when aiming to achieve another major victory on Scottish soil next month when he competes in the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on Jan 10. Informs David Martin. The 22-year-old Kenyan won last May's Bupa Great Edinburgh Run. Kipyego will face an enormous task in Holyrood Park where in the nine kilometres contest he faces an awesome field which is headed by Eritrea's former world champion Zersenay Tadese and fellow Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Augustine Choge.
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): World and Olympic 400 m winner Christine Ohuruogu revealed she will step down in distance to 200 m when competing indoors at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 21. The 24-year-old Londoner is expected to make her first outing of a year that will culminate in the defence of her IAAF World 400m title in Berlin in August. "I really enjoyed my indoor races at this year's Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham - – they got my Olympic year up and running and I was able to maintain things all the way through the year to when it really mattered in Beijing," said Ohuruogu.
KARLSTAD (SWE): High Jump Olympic winner 2004 and recently retired legendary Swede Stefan Holm will begin on January 7 an employment at the Karlstad University, his "alma mater". His main task will be to promote the university and the city of Karlstad, especially as a very suitable for students who want to pursue their athletic career while studying. A work he is tailormade for as he himself is living proof of successfully combining sports and academics in Karlstad
BRUSSELS (BEL): A record number of 482 athletes from a record number of 32 countries have confirmed their entry for the 15th SPAR European Cross Country Championships which take place in the beautiful Parc de Laeken in the Belgian capital of Brussels this Sunday. The record number of countries had previously been set in Malmo in Sweden in 2000 when 31 countries participated and this year 32 countries will take part in the event. In latest news Saïd Berioui has been withrawn from the French team and replaced by Loïc Letellier. The Moroccan born Berioui, who was granted French citizenship in 2006, hasn't been cleared by the Moroccan federation, and will have to wait until September 6, 2009 before he can compete for France. This is the second change in the French senior men's team after the replacement of El Hassan Lhassini by Hassan Hirt. Russian head-coach Valentin Maslakov warned that Olympic steeple winner and world record holder Gulnara Samitova-Galkina should not be considered as a favourite in women race. "She did not prepare specially for cross country, she will be competing only as a training," Maslakov said. The event will be covered by 18 broadcasters and shown in over 74 countries world wide.
MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF has informed about latest confirmed cases. The list of five names is headed by 2004 400 m Hurdles Olympic winner Fani Halkia of Greece. She tested positive during pre-Games IOC testing programme in Tokyo, Japan on August 12 for methyltrienolone and is banned until September 10, 2010. Nigerian female 400 m runner Christy Ekpukhon was positive at Leipzig Indoor Meeting on February 17 (metenolone) and is banned until March 6, 2010. She initially won in Leipzig and also later in Chemnitz at meetings and competed also at World Indoor Championships in Valencia. Advanced from heats but did not compete in semifinals. Polish 400 m runner (47 seconds level) Ziemowit Rys was positive at a September competition for ephedrine and got a warning.
MONTREAL (CAN): The new WADA code, which starts next year, has been widely criticised for saying athletes must provide testers with a one-hour daily window, even though that rule is well established in many British sports and was responsible for Christine Ohuruogu, the world and Olympic 400 metres champion, being banned for a year. Now UK Athletics wants to go farther, with its athletes informing testers of training patterns so that they can build up a profile. Now WADA´s desire for parity has led to protests. Yves Kummer, the president of the European Elite Athletes Association (EU Athletes), said: "There is no doubt that certain aspects of the Wada code interferes with players' rights and we have asked the EC to decide whether this is lawful." EU Athletes also issued a statement claiming that the rule "effectively places elite athletes under house arrest for one hour each day, 365 days a year".
YAROSLAVL (RUS, Dec 7): Vladimir Toporin continues in his indoor 60 m races in new hall in Yaroslavl. This time he was quicker with 6.5 hand timed.
TOKYO (JPN): Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi got the Olympic medal for second time in his life after a doping case. In Athens 2004 he was second in competition but the winner Adrian Annus of Hungary was later disqualified. Now he will get a bronze after Belarussians Devyatovskiy and Tikhon were disqualified. "It's a great honor to get a medal in two straight Olympics," Murofushi said for Japan Today. "But it's sad that this has come about because of doping. This is something that really needs to be tackled." In the Belarus media Nikolay Kruchinskiy, the head of national anti-doping agency was quoted as saying, that the Belarus side will most probably appeal the IOC decision.
ZURICH (SUI): One of the current best European distance runner Swiss Viktor Rothlin will end on Sunday his late autumn racing season at the 32nd Zurich Silvester race. He was recently voted fifth best sports person in Switzerland for 2008.
PARIS (FRA): Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad cut his training camp in Ethiopia short because of logistics issue. Arrived in Addis-Ababa on Sunday for a three weeks altitude training camp, he has already returned back home. He is scheduled to race at the Edinburgh cross-country on January 10, l'Equipe informs.
FRANKFURT (GER): Olympic bronze winner in javelin Christina Obergfoll lives now with Boris Henry a former excellent javelin thrower. German media are informing. They started their relationships before Beijing Games. The 34 years old Henry was recently appointed as national javelin coach. He had before a well published relationship with "modafinil" US Sprinter Kelli White. Interestingly, Obergfoll had before a relationship with another javelin thrower Christian Nicolay.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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