I have to admit, the the women’s 400 meters soured me in Doha. I knew, absolutely knew, that while Ms. Naser was a talented athlete, I did not believe that she was capable of defeating Shaunae Uibo Miller. I then got mad at myself afterwards, reminding myself that I had grown complacent, and that, perhaps, I was mistaken about Ms. Eid Naser. Our sport has a myriad of stars.
I could not get this frustration out of my mind. I spoke to Shaunae Uibo Miller’s coach, Lance Brauman. Lance told me that Shaunae had given it her all, and did not expect Naser to hold on. Lance complimented the young athlete from Bahrain. So did Shaunae Uibo Miller. She also was able to see her husband, Maicel Uibo, of Estonia, collect his silver medal in the decathlon that night. It was a big story in Doha.
I have continued to have a bad taste in my mouth about the women’s 400m. Then, I saw a story by Sean Ingle: Salwa Eid Naser, 400m World Champion, faces two year drugs ban, by Sean Ingle, The Guardian UK, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jun/05/salwa-eid-naser-400m-world-champion-faces-two-year-drugs-ban.
I was not stunned, I was a bit relieved.
I met East German athletes in the 1970s. I had seen them race. The stories about drugs were everywhere back then (Testosterone was not banned until 1977), and the federations were clueless about stoppping doping. East Germany, as did Soviet bloc countries, saw sports as another way to show the superiority of the Marxist system. The U.S and Europe saw sports as a way to show the the superiority of their system. And so it went.
One other note, Soviet bloc athletes did not have a choice in taking part in doping. You did it, or you, your family, coach, friends were in danger. In East Germany, the pills came in vitamin bottles. Like American childrens vitamins. Only much deadlier.
In 1984, one of the most bizarre doping stories was about Finn Marti Vaino. After the 10,000m, Vaino tested positive for steroids. He was pulled from the line of the 5,000m. Vaino swore he had not doped before the 10,000m. Well, not exactly. He had blood doped, a process called blood boosting, where he had taken blood from himself prior to a marathon, where he had been using steroids. The frozen blood had steroids, and while he had not technically used steroids before the 10,000, his post marathon blood boost had his steroids in them.
Many call the 1988 Olympics the dirtiest Olympics. I am not sure, but the urban athletic legends that came from 1988 are still out there.
Not much has changed.
Bahrain has had 3 Olympic and WC medalists get busted over doping. Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet, then, Olympic silver medalist Eunice Kirwa, and World Indoor champion Kemi Adekoya. Bahrain virtually buys its medals and athletes, as do many other countries, but the level of depravity in Bahrain may be taking this insanity to new heights.
Is Salwa Eid Naser the next?
My issue is this. Bahrain must not even think that Eid Naser will get caught, or why would they let her say something so dumb as “Missing 3 tests in a year is normal.” ? Oh, well other athletes have had this issue.
Check out this second piece by Sean Ingle: Missing Three drugs test is normal, says Salwa Eid Naser, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jun/06/athletics-missing-three-drugs-tests-is-normal-says-salwa-eid-naser.
When I heard the comment by Salwa Eid Naser, I immediately thought of the marathon cheat Rosie Ruiz, who made comments after ill fated 1980 Boston Marathon, where she jumped into the event, one half mile before end, and was disqualified eight days later.
Difference is, Salway Eid Naser is a talented athlete. Had she had this huge improvement in a year when she did not race frequently, and was not getting drug tested, is this some weird coincidence?
My Dad once told me that a person only gets themselves in trouble when they believe their own bullshit. Dad did not mince words. We call it at Stanism (yes, his name was Stan).
Let the bullshit begin.
I feel bad for a certian Bahamanian Olympic champion. She will never get the 2019 gold medal, but, in my mind, she deserves it.
Salwa Eid Naser, 400m World Champion, faces two year drugs ban, by Sean Ingle, The Guardian UK
Missing Three drugs test is normal, says Salwa Eid Naser