Starting blocks, photo by PhotoRun.net
As we go into Day 2 of the XXX Summer Olympic Games of the modern era, we see some success with the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport. While I applaud the catching of cheats, I believe the issue is a cultural one. We live in a global culture where we celebrate people for merely being obnoxious on terrestrial television, or for having the intellectual quotient of a small soap dish (stole that from National Lampoon Radio hour), or worse of all, valuing people because of the size of their pocket books. We have a world with very difficult problems, we need to celebrate people who are not afraid to use their brains, their hearts and their souls for the betterment of us all. That is, dear friends, is one of the key themes of the Olympic movement.
In modern society, the Olympics are an anomaly. To make a successful Olympics a country has to go nearly into hock (look at Montreal in 1976, Athens in 2004) to support 18 days that cost several billion dollars. The organizers have to worship at the altar of advertising and marketing. The truth is, that the most successful advertising in Olympic broadcasts celebrates the athlete, the notion that the battle fought is key, that whether one wins or loses, the honor comes in the challenges battled.
Advertisers gain from supporting the Olympics. Don't believe it? Ask VISA, ask Coca-Cola, ask McDonalds. It is also why Rule 40, while well meaning, in that it is meant to protect Olympic sponsors from guerilla marketing, I find it, to say the least, over the top. That President Rogge of the IOC quieted the marketing police down is another example of why M. Rogge gets the mystique and culture surrounding the Olympics. It is a tough dance, and President Rogge is an excellent dancer (yes, that is a compliment).
I love the Olympics. It is the 18 days, every four years, that celebrate all that is good in sport. Of course I ignore the trite, the over sell. For the most part, the major sponsors know that crossing the line, trying to get too much implicit value from the Olympics would be frowned upon by the three billion TV viewers.
Because we value sport, and because, like other activities, the best get paid more, some people cheat. Drug testing in Track & Field, while far from perfect, is the most rigorous of any sport on the Olympic schedule. Funny, when T&F catches a drug cheat, instead of it being applauded, the non track sport media sees it as another indication of how the sport is going to hell. I have to admit, that I do tire of that.
The IAAF Athlete Biological Passport is a small step in the right direction. While drug testing is key, out of competition is obvious, the discussion of right and wrong, or sports ethics is key. This is not religion, this is ethics. A conscience is what is needed. Cheating is wrong, period, whether it is on one's spouse, taxes or using a banned substance in order to gain an advantage over another athlete.
Cheating is cheating, and if the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport catches more cheats, then, I am a believer.
More success in fight against doping
MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF announced the latest successes in its fight against doping in
athletics, serving a warning to all those who attempt to cheat their sport and their
fellow competitors that they will be caught. The Athlete Biological Passport and the
re-testing of samples through special analyses (Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry,
Growth Hormones) have uncovered sophisticated doping by a total of 9 athletes.
Six athletes were sanctioned under the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport programm:
Abderrahim Goumri (36 - Morocco), Iríni Kokkinaríou (31 - Greece), Meryem Erdogan
(22 - Turkey), Svetlana Klyuka (34 -Russia), Nailiya Yulamanova (32 - Russia) and
Yevgenina Zinurova (30 - Russia) have each recently received a sanction for an
anti-doping rule violation under IAAF Rule 32.2 (b) (use or attempted use of a
prohibited substance or method) on the basis of an abnormal Athlete Biological
Passport profile. Four of the six athletes (Erdogan, Klyuka, Yulamanova and Zinurova)
promptly admitted that they had committed an anti-doping rule violation and waived
their right to a hearing. As a result, and pursuant to IAAF Rules, the rule on
aggravating circumstances was not applied and the IAAF proposed the application
of the standard 2-year sanction, which the athletes accepted. Abderrahim Goumri
recently received a 4-year sanction by the Moroccan Athletic Federation. The
decision is not final under IAAF Rules and can still be appealed by the athlete.
Iríni Kokkinaríou was found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and received
a 2-year sanction imposed by the Greek Athletic Federation. The IAAF appealed
this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is seeking the enforcement
of a 4-year sanction on the grounds of aggravating circumstances. IAAF has used
evidence and abnormalities identified in the biological passport of three further
elite athletes to retrospectively uncover further cases of doping at the 2011 IAAF
World Championships. The sample of Bulgarian sprinter Inna Eftimova tested positive
for synthetic Growth Hormone, while the samples of middle distance runner Nataliya
Tobias and 400 m runner Antonina Yefremova, (both of Ukraine) both contained traces
of synthetic testosterone. The IAAF initially sought the application of a 4-year
sanction in all three cases as it considered that under IAAF Rules there were
aggravating circumstances justifying the application of an increased sanction
up to 4 years. All three ultimately received a 2-year sanction after they
acknowledged that they had committed an anti-doping rule violation and waived
their right to the B sample analysis and to a hearing. In accordance with IAAF
Rule 40.6 (b), this meant that the 4-year sanction originally sought was
reduced to 2 years, which is the standard sanction otherwise applicable
for a first-time doping offence under IAAF Rules. Eftimova is ineligible
to compete until 15 May 2014. Tobias and Yefremova remain ineligible until
10 June 2014. Some of this cases were already reported by the national
Amos hopes for the final
LONDON (GBR): Botswana 800 m sensation and World Junior Champion Nijel
Amos said his main goal at the Games in London is to qualify for the finals.
That was confirmed by his agent Andre Thomson. Amos started with running in
2009 and last year was third at African Junior Championships and 5th at World
Youth Championships. He was the sensation of the DLV Gala meet in Mannheim where
he was to help the German runners to achieve olympic standards. But he clocked
unbelievable 1:43.11. With 1:43.79 World juniors win Amos confirmed that level and
that despite beeing not fully fit with slight muscle rupture. He arrived to Germany
this summer mainly as member of the 4x400 m relay team and came out as one of the
possible surprises for the London Games. He is now second best ever junior at the
distance and will still be eligibile in junior category in 2013.
Belarus with 50 athletes
MINSK (BLR): Belarus is sending 50 athletes to the London Games. Among them top favorites
for medals, olympic winner Oksana Menkova in hammer and world leader Nadezhda Ostapchuk
in shot put. Also former world champion in hammer Ivan Tikhon is going to compete for
first time outside of Belarus since his 2008 Beijing competition. Not in the team
injured decathloner Andrey Kravchenko. The team - men - 800 m: Ananenko, 110mH:
Lynsha, mar: Rogovtsov, HJ: Churylo, PV: Tivontchik, TJ: Plotnitskiy, SP: Mikhnevich,
Lyzhin, HT: Tikhon, Krivitskiy, Svyatokho, JT: Kozlov, 20 km w: Simanovich, Trotskiy,
dec: Mikhan. Women - 100 m: Balykina, 400 m: S. Usovich, 800 m: Arzmasova, 1500 m:
Koreyvo, mar: Dubovskaya, Kovgan, Starovoytova, SC: Kudelich, 100mH: Talai, Poplavskaya,
PV: Shvedova, LJ: Shutkova, Mironchik-Ivanova, Sudareva, TJ: Detsyuk, SP: Ostapchuk,
Mikhnevich, Provalinskaya-Karolchik, DT: Serova, HT: Menkova, Matoshko, JT: Novik,
hep: Maksimava, 20kmw: Drabenya, Yatsevich, 4x100 m: added with Danilyuk-Nevmerzhitskaya,
Gonchar, Shumak, Lepeshko, Ostashko, 4x400 m: added with I. Usovich, Kievich, Yushchenko,
OLYMPICS RELATED NEWS
LONDON (GBR): British marathon runner Dave Webb has been deselected from Olympics
due to lack of fitness. The 30-years old runner clocked 2:15:48 as 15th at last years
World Championships in Daegu.
ATHENS (GRE): European U23 Champion last year Greek triple jumper Voula Papahristou
was expelled from Greece's Olympic team for her comments on Twitter mocking African
immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party. The Hellenic Olympic
Committee said Wednesday that Papachristou is "placed outside the Olympic team
for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."
Agencies are informing.
LONDON (GBR): Media reports are now confirmed. The IAAF provisionally
suspended Moroccan 1500 m runner Mariem Alaoui Selsouli from the London
Olympics on Wednesday after she tested positive for doping.
The governing body said Selsouli tested positive for the diuretic furosemide
at the Paris Diamond League meeting on July 6. "Selsouli has waived her right
to the B (backup sample) analysis, and as a result has now been provisionally
suspended from all competition in athletics," the IAAF said in a statement.
LONDON (GBR): The Athletics Statistics Handbook for the Games of the XXX Olympiad,
London 2012 (Athletics Competitions, 3 to 12 Aug) is now available for download from
the IAAF website. Produced in collaboration with LOCOG and the Association of Track &
Field Statisticians (ATFS) and edited by renowned statistician Mark Butler, the 386-page
book is nothing short of a tantalising historical and statistical feast of Olympic Athletics
facts for media and fans alike. Informs IAAF.
LONDON (GBR): The IOC's anti-doping chief acknowledged Wednesday he could have acted sooner
to retest samples from the 2004 Athens Olympics to catch any drug cheats who escaped detection
at the time. IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist was sharply criticized by senior
IOC member Dick Pound on Wednesday for deciding only in May to retest about 100 samples from
Athens. The International Olympic Committee is investigating up to five possible positive
results from those retests. Agencies are informing.
LONDON (GBR): US Track team captains are 400 m hurdles gold medal defender Angelo Taylor
and experienced discus thrower Aretha Thurmond. Both are four time Olympians.
DARMSTADT (GER): Change in the German 4x400 m men relay team for the Games. Initially
selected Niklas Zender injured a muscle on his right leg and will be replaced by
Benjamin Jonas. Zender was fourth and Jonas fifth at the national championships.
FLAG BEARERS: Many of track athletes will be flag-bearers of their countries at
the Opening Ceremony of the London Games. Already earlier reported was Caster S
emenya for South Africa. The quartermiler Tabarie Henry will bear the flag of
US Virgin Islands and female sprinter Murielle Ahoure the Ivory Coast flag.
ALGARVE (POR): The British team has left the turmoil of London and is currently
training in Portugal to escape the hype around the Olympic Games. The Robinson Club
Quinta Da Ria will host the athletes for over two weeks after which the athletes
will be flown back to London just a few days before their event according to The Telegraph.
KYIV (UKR): Ukraine will pay 100 000 USD to those athletes who win gold medals at the
2012 London Olympics, 75 000 for silver medals, and 50 000 for bronze, First Deputy
Head of the State of Youth and Sports of Service of Ukraine Serhiy Hluschenko said.
At a briefing in the Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine he said that the amount of the
prize money hadn't changed since 2004 writes The Kyiv Post.
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are both "fit and raring to go" at the
Olympics, says Jamaica track team doctor Winston Dawes for the BBC. Dawes said:
"Both of them are at the top of their game."
He told BBC Sport's Leon Mann: "If the conditions are ideal, then we are going
to see something fantastic. We may see records go."
LONDON (GBR): British javelin star Goldie Sayers will compete at London 2012
despite suffering a torn ligament in her elbow. She broke her own British
record with her first attempt at the London Grand Prix just over a week
ago but suffered the injury on her fourth throw. A scan two days later
revealed the full extent of the damage. At a training camp in Portugal
the 30-year-old said the injury had "responded very well to treatment"
and she had resumed training. Says the BBC.
BIRIMINGHAM (GBR): Following the American athletics team's successful ten day stay in
Birmingham for their pre-Olympic training camp, World Champions Carmelita Jeter and
Jason Richardson will headline an array of American stars that will be returning to
the city for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday 26 August.
Organizers are informing. Jeter, the second fastest woman of all time, will be
competing over 100m, whilst Richardson will line up for the 110m hurdles at
Britain's final Samsung Diamond League meeting of the season. Leading the
challenge against Richardson when he competes in Birmingham will be fellow
American David Oliver, the 110m hurdles Olympic bronze medallist four years
ago who narrowly missed out on qualification for the Games at the American trials
in June. Jeter, meanwhile, will line up against a world-class field that will
include 2005 World 100m Champion Lauryn Williams and newly crowned European Champion
Ivet Lalova. Further American Olympians returning to the West Midlands for the Aviva
Birmingham Grand Prix on 26 August will include World 1500m Champion Jenny Simpson,
World 1500m bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz and Mo Farah's training partner,
BUDAPEST (HUN): The first part of the season is over. Per All-Athletics.com
meeting rankings Eugene, Rome and Monaco are the three best ones so far. Best
non-DL meet is Ostrava as 9th, best Asian meet is Doha as fourth, best African
meet is Rabat as 13th, best non-US meet in America is Kingston as 12th. Best
European Permit meet is Luzern as 14th. Best Oceanian meet is Sydney as 34th.
Best outdoor combined events meeting is Gotzis, in walking Saransk World Cup
ahead of Taicang Challenge meet. In multidays competitions US Olympic Trials
are on top over European Championships in Helsinki and Russian Championships
in Cheboksary. In marathon rankings top 3 are London, Dubai and Rotterdam, in
road races category San Juan Worlds Best 10k leads. More at www.all-athletics.com.
LONDON (GBR): Latest blog by Pat Butcher at www.globerunner.org - Drugs, Drugs, Drugs, etc.
BERLIN (GER): German pole vaulter Danny Ecker is ending his career on August 25th
at the Pole vault classics in Leverkusen. For the special meeting, Germany's best
pole vaulters have announced to be present including Mate Mohr, Raphael Holzdeppe,
Bjorn Otto and Karsten Dilla. Ecker best performance was winning the bronze medal
at the IAAF World championships in Osaka 2007 reports leichtathletik.de.
BERLIN (GER): The street competition Berlin Fliegt is announcing 12 world class
athletes for the long jump and pole vault competition on August 19th. The special
event will be broadcasted live on German television and features two athletes in each
event trying to win as many points as possible. So far Sebastian Bayer is the main
name announced to be competing in the event writes leichtathletik.de.
NAIROBI (KEN): Neue Zuricher Zeitung writes that three doping cases of Kenyan runners
went public: Jemima Jelagat Sumgong at the Boston Marathon, where she became second,
had trace amounts of cortisone in the body, Rael Kiyara with her win in Hamburg,
nandrolone and Mathew Kisorio at the Kenyan Championships over 10 000 meters is
also an anabolic steroid. All three are not in the olympic team. It also says that
another case is still in the pipeline: Ronald Kipchumba was caught at the
Linz Marathon with traces of EPO in the blood.
LONDON (GBR): The latest clarification by the International Association
of Athletics Federations (IAAF) permits athletes to move in the starting
blocks without being disqualified so long as their hands do not leave
the ground or their feet the blocks. Previously, such twitching or
flinching could have resulted in disqualification at the discretion
of the starter. The preferred method now is to call up athletes and
begin the process again if movement is observed. The penalty would be
a yellow card, or warning. A second would result in disqualification.
Media are reporting.
JOCKGRIM (GER, Jul 25): Around 3500 spectators saw excellent pole vaulting
at the special meet here. Three athletes tied for first with 581 (they had
561 and 581 in first attempt) Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany
(for him a PB) and US Brad Walker. Fourth Malte Mohr also went over 581 but
had 3 attempts at 561 and two at 581. After 581 athletes tried different heights
but no success and decided at the end against a jump-off. Another tie for fifth
Czech Jan Kudlicka with Greek Kostadinos Filippidis 561 and 7th Karsten Dilla also
561. New meet record in women event for Oceanian record holder Alana Boyd 463 and
second Cuban Yarisley Silva also 463. Small problem in the warm-up jumping resulted
into no competition for German record holder Silke Spiegelburg. But it is nothing
major and she will continue to train for the Games.
MUNCHEN (GER, Jul 25): Corrina Harrer tested her shape in the 1500 m
with solid win in 4:06.97.
SANTANDER (ESP, Jul 25): European high jump Champion Ruth Beitia comes
into shape. She cleared here for the 10th time in her career two metres
as fifth in the world this year.
MANRESA (ESP, Jul 24): Youth Olympic Games winner Argentinian junior
Braian Toledo achieved at Memorial Julio Alvarez new national javelin
record 79.87 m. Berta Castells got new Spanish women hammer record
69.59. Informs Carles Baronet on his Trackinsun blog.
DUBLIN (IRL, Jul 25): Morton Games saw world leading women mile by
US Nicole Schappert 4:30.65 ahead of Australians Zoe Buckman 4:30.86
and Genevieve LaCaze 4:32.19 with Czech Tereza Capkova fourth 4:32.69.
New life-time bests for US runners. Miler Matt Centrowitz in 1:47.72 at
the 800 m, Will Leer 3:56.39 in the mile and in the 3000 m Ben True
7:44.40 and Elliott Heath 7:45.26. Ireland´s Brian Gregan won the 400 m
in life-time best 45.61. British win for Nathan Woodward at 400 m hurdles
49.49 and Canadian for Melissa Bishop in the 800 m 2:01.80. Jamaican Kenroy
Anderson got the 100 m in 10.26 (+1.1).
THIVA (GRE, Jul 25): Georgios Tsakonas improved at the last national GP of the
season to 825 in the long jump, the fourth best Greek of all-time. But unfortunately
too late for the Olympic Games. He had a top series: f-f- 825 (+1.6)-802
(+1.4)-p- 823 (+1.5). Eleni Filandra clocked 2:00.58 in the 800 m and
in men race Andreas Dimitrakis improved to 1:47.35. Georgios Tremos
won the discus with 61.60 m.