Really, this is my last comment during the Trials on doping. I want to write about athletes, coaches, the sport, and the emotions that make me go, “gosh, I love this sport.”
So, here we go!
Oregon Twilight, May 7, 2021, photo by Larry Eder
1. There will be extensive testing at the Olympic Trials.
If you get caught doping at an Olympics or Olympic Trials, I am sorry, but you are a complete idiot. Systematic cheaters know their cycles, are using drugs, mechanisms that groups like Athletics Integrity and WADA have to do secret agent man things to catch. That does not mean that they do not make huge mistakes.
Due to the Pandemic, out of competition drug testing is down, in some areas, by 70-80 percent. That is just a fact.
2. Not a coincidence that a big bust happens around major championships.
It is like Oliver Cromwell putting a severed head on a pike outside of the Tower of London. It attracts attention. Busts before a major championships show that AIU, WADA, or other organization wants to show to the biggest audience that they are doing their job. This is great theatre and is key to scaring some athletes from cheating.
As a track & Field journalist, former coach, and athlete, I know some athletes, coaches, and even nations cheat. Sport is business and global politics. The late Emil Zatopek told me, way back in 1991, that Vladimir Kuts, a Soviet superstar told Emil he was made to take pills that made him sick. That the global federations are able to catch 95-96 percent of dopers is good. But, there are also, as in any human endeavor, mistakes, somewhere in the 4-5 percent range. Don’t believe me, ask a scientist anywhere.
3. Catching people who miss whereabouts tests is not catching the big cheaters, it is catching someone who screwed up…
Ever have one of those days? Ever have 3 of those days. Well, Christian Coleman did, and so have others.
I feel bad for Christian, but note that others have done the same thing. So, get over it. Christian will probably never have an issue with whereabouts again.
4. Most athletes do not cheat. Hell, that can not afford it.
To cheat successfully requires a lot of subterfuge and about $100k a year. AIU and WADA know this and focus on the low-hanging fruit. But they also do the secret agent person stuff so that they can do their best to give the sport an even playing field.
Much of the time it works, sometimes it does not.
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