London Diaries: News of the Marathon, April 21, 2016


Wilson-Kipchoge-KimettoR1-London15.jpgKipsang, Kipchoge, Kimetto, photo by

The London Media room is one of my favorite places to be in the world. The pressers, the interaction with fellow scribes, and the quality of the interviews all make it a week where I double my workload to write about the sport we love.

Here is some quick news on London Marathon. Watch for my columns later this evening.


LONDON (GBR): The topic of doping was the dominant theme of the elite men's press conference at the London Marathon. Race director Hugh Brasher outlined to the press the Abbott World Marathon Majors has constructed an extensive anti-doping programme in coordination with the IAAF with 68 men and 60 women part of the elite testing pool. Brasher added that each athlete in the testing pool will be subjected to at least six out-of-competition drug tests this year. "We are determined to have a clean sport and absolutely we believe the public will come out and support everything that is going on on Sunday," said Brasher. Wilson Kipsang added that doping is "like a crime" but downplayed the extent of the problem in Kenya. "I think there is a wrong suspicion; it is just like crime. Doping or cheating is a problem, it's a crime. That doesn't mean that the whole sport (is a problem). All the guys, we've been tested 7 or 8 times," he said. From Race Results Weekly.

LONDON (GBR): Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge are confident Kenyan athletes will be able to compete at the Rio Olympics after the government passed a law primarily to fund a new national anti-doping agency, informs The Guardian. Kenya missed two deadlines imposed by WADA to make the required reforms to their anti-doping programme and was at risk of being deemed non-compliant by WADA. "Once the president signs the bill later this week, it's the law. That is what WADA wanted. So we are safe," said Kipchoge.

LONDON (GBR): Former race director Dave Bedford believes the sport is beginning to win the fight against doping but can't say with full certainty that Sunday's race will be a completely clean affair, informs the Evening Standard. "I would love it that this year it was a clean race, the cleanest race but I don't know if that's the case. What I would say is that the resolve of the London Marathon team and [race director] Hugh Brasher is all very much about continuing to fight this until we feel comfortable we've got to where we want to be in that fight," he said.

LONDON (GBR): Hugh Brasher has said the terrorist threat for Sunday's race is low, informs The Guardian. "At the moment London's security risk is 'severe'," he said. "That security risk hasn't changed over the last few years, even after the tragedy of Paris and Brussels. The threat to our event is low. That also hasn't changed. We work very closely with the Metropolitan police, the emergency services, the boroughs and that dialogue is always ongoing."

LONDON (GBR): Arne Gabius is hoping for a top ten finish in the London Marathon on Sunday, informs Gabius has said he feels his endurance is better than it was in Frankfurt where he broke the German record with 2:08:33 and feels less pressure in London having achieved that mark last October. Gabius doesn't have a time goal in mind in London but he has said he is aiming to run with the second group through halfway between 63:30 and 64:00. His wife Anna will also be running the marathon on Sunday.

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