How do I begin? One of the things that gets under my skin is at a presser, when 80 per cent of the questions are on drugs. The Salazar ban did not happen until two days later, on 30 September, but the pressure was there. A dozen British media, sent to cover the WC drug issues, the majority who never hit a British athletics event in 2019, were there to catch the athletes. We have same thing in US. Most Olympic Trials, many journos show up to ask doping questions, and nothing else.
Issue is this. And I see both sides. The doping politics is complete and utter b.s. Both sides have guilt in making the sport dirty. Do I think the sport is cleaner that the 1980s? 1990s? 2000s? yes, yes, yes. But the level of cheating has gone to depraved levels. I do not have a Ph.D in gene studies, which is where the doping of the future will be found.
Do I think most athletes cheat? Nope. Most do not have the money to cheat. And USADA and WADA are doing some amazing levels of testing. The future of sport is on the line.
The athletes, especially in the sprints, deal with this all the time. Truth is, all of our athletics events are under suspicion, some more than others.
Christian Coleman missed some tests, and the reprieve had many wondering what was happening. Then, Justin Gatlin, who lets his feet do the talking, is in a constant shit storm with the British media. Andre De Grasse, the fine Canadian who just got back to the global sprint wars, gives no quarter, and one can see the desire in his eyes to be the top of the sprint food chain.
Coleman is wary of the media: he was in a mess last spring and he did not like being the focal point of a feeding frenzy. Gatlin enjoyed the whole spectacle and was shocked he was not the focus of the global media on drug questions.
The presser was fascinating, and shows the doublespeak that has come to such events. Athletes must be guarded, in such occassions, as some media want to catch them in a mistake.
Special thanks to The Shoe Addicts (Mike Deering, video production, Adam Johnson Eder, photography).