In any testing involving humans, there is human error. In the absolute need to stem the use of drugs in sports, WADA and USADA, have, in my opinion, focused to grabbing the bad guys before their research was complete. Perhaps the Jenkins situation was one of those. We do applaud USADA and WADA for dropping the case with CAS.
However, here is our stance: To beat the system, an athlete or a group supporting an athlete must spend, according to our research, north of $60k a year to find something that is going to give them the chance of not getting caught. In order to catch these cheaters, I suggest testing, ten to twenty times a year of the top 20 in the world, and random, out of competition testing of top 50. Out of competition testing is the ONLY thing that makes sense, as it keeps the cheater on their toes. Draconian retribution for the athletes and coaches caught cheating will also slow down the cheaters.
Anyone who gets caught at a competition, in this day and age is a complete bonehead. Most of the cheaters have stopped for weeks in order to clear whatever they are taking out of their system.
However, cheating is insidious. While I believe that current practices catch about 90 percent of the cheaters, anyone who runs fast, jumps far, runs long is considered a cheat. Everyone is accused at one time or another.
Coaches who have alot of athletes getting busted should be banned, that simple. Agents need to watch this as well as the athletes as it is damning their profession. The IAAF should follow the example of the USATF and get the heck out of drug testing, as just the look of impropriety ( no accusations) color the way our sport is viewed.
My comments here are part of a long and laborious process that I believe we must take to reinvent the sport of athletes, and that includes Track & Field and Road Racing. I just spent two glorious days in Boston, actually five, and the Olympic Trials were excellent because they were competition. However, the USOC would not know how to celebrate such an event if they were paid-oops they are!
It is time for USATF to move the Olympic Trials out of USOC hands and call them whatever they want. Find sponsors and make these events huge celebrations of the sport!
It is time for American marathons, like Boston and New York, to build their fields around national heroes, like Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor and Brian Sell, and give them a showcase. For the past two years, Ryan has built his reputation in London, with the exception, the wonderful exception of the US Olympic Trials.
The money for sports is in the United States. The IAAF seems incapable of understanding that, or perhaps they do not care. USATF has just scratched the surface and needs a new CEO who knows the sport, and knows how to think out of the box and open the sports marketing coffers of global brands and help them discover the sport of running.
That will only be done when our sport has the flavor of a sport that polices itself and asks for outside help to police the cheats and runs events like professional sports entertainment. Points to consider after two great weeks of marathoning!
EME NEWS (APR 22, 2008) FLASH
LaTasha Jenkins free to compete
CHICAGO (USA): Chicago Tribune informs that US sprinter LaTasha Jenkins is free to compete. She is the first athlete whose appeal against USADA was successful. This current case started in 2006 after she had positive test at Hechtel meet in Belgium (July 22, winning the 100 m in near PB 11.03). During this long appeal process she was provisionally suspended. She won her appeal on technical issues, her tests were not run according to WADA rules. First USADA accepted the appeal of Jenkins, but WADA had another opinion. But after all examinations WADA dropped the case at CAS. She returned to competition in 2006 after ending her career in 2003. The 30 years old athlete recently learned she will win a silver medal from Edmonton 2001 World Championships in the wake of Marion Jones case. She also has bronze from World Indoor Championships in Lisbon the same year. Her 200 m best 22.29 comes back from 1999 and 100 m 11.02 from her best year so far 2001. It is not immediately known whether she will return to competition. She was also coached by Trevor Graham who is charged of making false statements to federal investigators.
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