LaShawn Merritt named to USA team, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

USA Track & Field

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This weekend, it was Justin Gatlin. Justin, who has finished his ban, ran the 100 meters, and made the team for the 100 meters and the list for the 4 x 100 meters. In many meets in Europe, Justin will not be able to run due to his ban.

LaShawn Merritt went to a convenience store, and among the things he purchased were Extenze, a male sexual aid. In said aid, was a banned substance. LaShawn probably did not take it for athletic performance enhancement, but for more personal reasons. Those personal reasons were dashed when he tested positive. In light of the situation, Merritt was banned 21 plus months, just short of the two years.

In a time when drugs continue to muddy and bruise our sport, the European meet directors are trying to put a line in the sand. USA Track & Field is trying to put together its best team. And there is controversy.

This should be a teachable moment, but, right now, there is some acrimony.

Here is my beef: no athlete who gets caught admits it and says, "Yep, I am wrong." I have not recalled hearing an athlete say, "What I did was stupid, can you forgive me? "

I applaud USADA and WADA for the most part. I do not think Marijuana should not be on the list, that is silly, as all one wants to do after that is buy a pizza and watch the Simpsons. I do think that they should just stop spending money on chasing Mr. Tour de France and make sure that the problem areas that some of us see are monitored.

There will always be cheaters, sad, but a fact of life. We owe it to the young athletes, the seasoned athletes who have spent their entire careers running,  jumping and throwing without the use of banned substances, to clean up our sport.


Merritt gets the spot
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Defending world and Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt will be part of Team USA's roster for the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu. Informs USATF. The USATF Board of Directors during its meeting June 25-26 in Eugene approved the recommendation of USATF's Chief of Sport Performance and the chair of USATF Men's Track & Field Committee to place Merritt on the roster. Merritt tested positive for DHEA in October, 2009. On October 18, 2010, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) declared that his ban would end July 27, 2011, shorter than the traditional 24-month ban and making him eligible to again compete prior to the World Championships. In reducing the length of the suspension, AAA stated it believed Merritt's positive test to be the result of an inadvertent action and that he had not intended to gain a competitive advantage. "USATF decided to approve Mr. Merritt's request for several reasons," noted USATF Chief of Sport Performance Benita Fitzgerald Mosley. "Since he is a defending world champion, placing him on the roster will not deny a roster position to any other athlete. That fact, as well as the clear message sent by the AAA regarding his intent and conduct, resulted in our recommendation to place him on the roster." Merritt will represent USA in Daegu with Tony McQuay, Jeremy Wariner and Greg Nixon.

Gonzales has the A-standard

KINGSTON (JAM): When IAAF World Championships in Athletics medal prospect Jermaine Gonzales crossed the finish line in fourth position in the men's 400m finals at the Jamaica Championships many inside the venue feared the worst. Fourth was, however, enough for the national record holder to secure his spot at the World Championships as second-place finisher Leford Green only ran the 400m finals for a spot on the 4x400m relay squad, having already qualified for his pet event - the 400m hurdles - which he will be focusing on in Daegu. Add to that the fact that Gonzales is the only Jamaican with an 'A' standard qualification time so far this season. Gonzales overcame a stomach ailment - a double episode of vomiting and a general lack of fitness - to post 45.59 seconds in the final, some way off his 45.07 season best and 44.40 personal best quality. Informs Jamaica Gleaner. "I think I'm in 44 seconds shape right now. If I should rest for a week and run just one 400m I would definitely go 44 seconds, but to do the rounds and then run 44 seconds, no, I'm not at that level of fitness right now," said national record holder Gonzales who is in the start list of Athletissima in Lausanne on Thursday.

Mullings advices Gay
KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican 200 m champion Steve Mullings has advised his US training group colleague Tyson Gay to forget about a spot on USA's 4x100m relay team and focus on hip surgery if that is what guaranteed returning to full fitness ahead of next year's Olympic Games. Mullings said, despite the fact that his training partner Gay can be picked on the American 4x100m relay team, if he recovers in time for the championships, it should not be considered running in Daegu because "he (Gay) might have to do surgery. I just told him to go ahead and do it and don't worry about running on any relay, to hurt himself anymore, but to come back strong for next year," advised Mullings who is planning to double in Daegu and will be considered also for the relay.

Blake out of Toronto
KINGSTON (JAM): Yohan Blake, the youngest sprinter in history to break the 10-second barrier in the 100-meter dash, has withdrawn from National Track League's, (NTL) Toronto International Track & Field Games, set for July 13 at Varsity Center.
Blake pulled out as a precautionary measure. Informs Track Alerts. Blake's manager Cubie Seegobin confirmed the withdrawal with on Tuesday, saying, "It is a precautionary decision based on the injury he sustained in the 1st round of the Jamaican Championships," he explained.

Fast hurdles by junior Traber
BIBERACH (GER, Jun 28): The fifth edition of Weltklasse in Biberach meet (EA Classic) saw in summer weather German junior Gregor Traber improving at 110 m hurdles to 13.55 (-1.0). It is sixth best ever European performer at senior hurdles. National record holder Kurt Couto of Mozambique clocked new meet record 49.43 at 400 m hurdles ahead of Georg Fleischhauer who improved to 49.50. Greek record holder Konstadinos Filippids won the pole vault with 567 clearance (and tried at new national record height 577). Second Tim Lobinger 562 (and injured at 572) ahead of Lukasz Michelski of Poland 562. Danny Ecker returned to competition after 17 months with 532 cm. Cuban discus wins for Jorge Fernandez 63.86 and Yareli Barrios 62.46. South African Thuso Mpuang scored a sprint double 10.47 (0.0) and 20.65 (-0.1). In the 400 m Offentse Mogawane missed his own meet record from 2008 only by 0.01 with 45.68 ahead of Thomas Schneider 45.96. Tactical 800 m winner was Artur Ostrowski of Poland 1:48.03 with 1500 m European medalist Carsten Schlangen fourth (1:49.15). French indoor record holder Eloyse Leseuer won the long jump (663, 0.0).

Abakumova world lead in javelin
VELENJE (SLO, Jun 28): Russian olympic medalist Mariya Abakumova improved world leading mark at 16th Miners Day meet in Slovenia (EA Classic) in fifth round to 67.98. She had all her throws valid and the worst was 61.36. European champion Linda Stahl was way back second 60.78 ahead of Kim Mickle of Australia 60.59. Home record holder Martina Ratej did not compete due to injury. Fast steeple winner was Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge who is still a junior with 8:16.74 ahead of Abel Mutai 8:25.20 and Lukasz Parsczynski of Poland who clocked his PB 8:25.73. In the 100 m Aziz Zakari of Ghana beat in 10.32 (+0.1) Jamaican Championships finalist Jacques Harvey (10.34 too). Excellent 400 m registered 45.59 for Cuban William Collazo ahead of Briton Richard Strachan 45.70 and Hungarian super talent Marcell Deak-Nagy who improved the national junior record to 45.74. Also under 46 was US runner Brent Larue who lives in Slovenia in great PB 45.75. World Champion Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia was the clear high jump winner with 226 (missed 229). Top hammer field saw Krisztian Pars winning (76.87) over Markus Esser (76.01) and home star Primoz Kozmus (75.61). In remaining women events Jamaican Anniesha McLaughlin clocked 23.17 (+0.7) in the 200 m, Czech Lucie Skrobakova 13.20 (-0.3) at 100 m hurdles. Belarus Veronika Shutkova won the long jump (653, -0.4) and in the triple jump battle Marija Sestak leaped to 14.11 (+0.1) over Slovak Dana Veldakova 14.08 (+0.2). It is the best result for Sestak since 2009. Russian European champion Svetlana Feofanova cleared 470 and tried at world leading 481. Second Cuban Yarisley Silva equalled her own Area record 460 and third Czech Jirina Ptacnikova cleared 450.

Kaki gets 1:44.39
SOLLENTUNA (SWE, Jun 28): World indoor champion Abubaker Kaki of Sudan returned after New York problem at Sollentuna GP meet (part of Folksam GP in Sweden) with fast 1:44.39 in the 800 m. It was a meet record. Another meet record for European champion Andy Turner with 13.34 (-0.3) at 110 m hurdles. Second Hungarian record holder Daniel Kiss 13.61. Turkish sprinter Ramil Guliyev also clocked meet record in the 100 m with 10.19 (+1.2). Excellent also the 4:04.64 meet record and personal best for Russian Yekaterina Martynova in the 1500 m. Second her team-mate Olesya Syreva 4:06.68. Denmark´s Morten Jensen leaped to meet record 799 in the long jump ahead of home favorite Michel Torneus (784). Olympic winner Gerd Kanter won the discus (64.44). Anastasiya Mironova of Belarus was the best in the long jump (672, +0.6) with Carolina Kluft second (638). German Silke Spiegelburg cleared 450 to win the pole vault (after that she tried at 470). European high jump leader Dmytro Demyanyuk went over 227 to win. Briton Rhys Williams was the best at 400 m hurdles (49.59). Rabah Yousif of Sudan won the 400 m (45.57). In the 1500m Kenyan Ismael Kombich posted 3:36.61 ahead of Australian Ryan Gregson 3:36.64. Latvian Dmitrijs Jurkevics was fourth with new national record 3:37.35. In the women triathlon Karolina Tyminska of Poland won with 2790 points (635 long jump, 14.40 shot put, 23.70 200 m) ahead of German Jennifer Oeser 2689 (637, 13.77, 24.37).

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