Jenny Simpson's comments to LetsRun on Aregawi's Positive test

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Simpson_Jenny1d-NBiGP15.jpgJenny Simpson, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenny Simpson won the 2011 World Champs right in front of me. There had been a point in the semi final in Daegu, where I remember telling a couple of friends, that she seemed ready to race. She had to accelerate to make the final and she did it with huge acceleration but little notice of effort. She was ready to race.

In a world championship final, or an Olympic final, half of the racers are either over trained or psyched out. It always comes down to three or four who have the will and the grit. That is what makes a great race and made the final in Daegu so amazing. All athletes being pretty even, and it comes down to three or four who want it bad and duel to the final centimeters.

It is a whole different thing, when the edge comes from a banned substance. Read the statement below from Jenny Simpson and you will get just a small understanding of what it must feel to loose a life moment.

Our friends at Letsrun.com asked Jenny Simpson, the 2013 World Championship silver medalist at the 1,500 meters, after the IAAF announced Abeba Aregawi, the 2013 gold medalist at 1,500 meters, had tested positive in an out of competition test. Here is her response:

"There's always a mix of satisfaction and grief when you hear the news that an athlete has been caught for cheating. These emotions are even greater when it's a fellow competitor. I'm grateful that the sport is taking steps to catch cheaters and meaningfully deter others from violating the rules in the future. Justice begins when someone that stole from the sport isn't going to just get away with it. But I grieve the decision that was made by a skilled athlete, capable of greatness, to take a shortcut. I grieve that athletes have influencers around them that encourage rather than prevent bad behavior. I grieve the continued systematic abuse of drugs, money, and power to corrupt a sport that would be even more compelling if everyone played fairly. I grieve the loss of my own opportunity to stand in the place that my hard work earned me on many podiums, robbed of moments meant to honor the dozens of people that helped get me there. I'm hopeful that things might really be changing for the better in our sport and I'm sad it didn't start changing sooner.

While there is some satisfaction in hearing that drug tests are raising red flags, what has been announced today is far from justice served. First, we need to give the testing process enough time to show adequate evidence and prove that cheating took place. Once that has been determined, we as a sport and community cannot allow a brief unveiling of corruption to stand in the place of justice and consequences. We have to demand follow-through by WADA, the IAAF, and the NGOs to impose consequences on cheaters and advance athletes who competed clean. There's a lot more work to be done on many investigations in order to repair the reputation of our sport and properly celebrate clean competitors." Jenny Simpson.

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