Today was a difficult day for track fans. This is how I am thinking about this Dark Day in our sport. If there is one lesson today, it is that, we are finally at a time when no one is safe from drug testing. Cheat, use a banned substance, one way or another, USADA or WADA will catch you.
The easiest thing to do then is to note that the sport is dead, or to compare it to cycling.
I believe the sport, and this day in the sport is much more complicated.
This is a dark day in track & field, in that three of our sport’s heroes have tested positive for banned substances. Our first reaction is in the pit of our stomach, a sick feeling. My first knowledge of the positive tests was the note from USATF on Max Siegel’s statement on Tyson Gay.
This is also a day that shows that USADA, WADA are doing their job, cleaning up our sport. Each time there is a positive test, it shows that USADA and WADA sees that no athlete is above the testing.
This is as close as we have been in sports to having testing that the community can be confident in.
Really easy to be cynical, but important to be a critical observer. Testing and announcing of testing has protocols that are there to protect athlete, sport and testing group. There are A and B samples to give athlete protection.
Track & Field does more testing than any other sport and has done more testing for years. We need to take the time to see how this plays out.
What we do know is this: Moscow 2013 is forever changed. Athletes involved now have their lives forever changed.
But, if testing is to respected and seen as legitimate, should not one expect there to be positive tests?
It can’t just be former Soviet bloc hammer throwers testing positive all the time for strychnine.
When lots of money is on the line, in a world that values personality and wealth more than other things, we can not be surprised that some people will use all means possible to win.
That is why testing is in place.