The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Moscow and the Sport in Flames

Jul 14th, 2013
11:21 pm PDT

Me for Blog picIf you’re a fan of the sport, you’re already aware of the news. Tyson Gay a positive "A" sample and out of Moscow. Jamaica, FIVE positives! Asafa Powell, and Sherone Simpson confirmed. Nests Carter said to be. Two as yet unnamed. Perhaps THE worst day ever for the sport!

Yet there are those pointing fingers of glee, as most of the world points at America saying, "there they go again". The portion of the world interested in sprinting pointing at Jamaica saying "we knee they were dirty too". And the portion of the world that doesn’t care about track pointing at the sort saying "this is why we don’t watch"!

In case you’re keeping track it’s Finger Pointers 3, Track and Field 0! Because when track and field and drugs cross paths track always loses! And this is a day of loss – major loss. Let’s be real and talk openly, because frankly one of the reasons we’re at this precipice today is due to a lack of open communication.

First we are now looking at the destruction of the main event in Moscow – the 100 meter dash. Let’s begin with the showdown between Gay & Bolt – the US and Jamaica. Because with Gay out and Blake injured it’s Bolt in a romp – no offense to Justin Gatlin. The 4×1 also losses summer marquee value without Gay on the US squad, and Powell & Carter along either the injured Blake missing from Jamaica – suddenly making the 4×1 the final event isn’t looking so brilliant! I said the 4×4 ALWAYS provides highlights.

Speaking of Blake, Gatlin, Powell and Carter, this weekend’s revelations mean that only two of the men that have run under 9.80 have not yet been touched by the drug brush – Usain Bolt (9.58) & Maurice Greene (9.79). Everyone else – Tyson Gay (9.69), Yohan Blake (9.69), Asafa Powell (9.72), Justin Gatlin (9.77), Tim Montgomery (9.78), and Nesta Carter (9.78) – have all served or are preparing to serve suspensions. And without casting aspersions on Bolt, but is one man that vastly superior to the rest – a whopping .21 over 100 meters? Because that’s a question many will ask – I’ve already seen it scanning message boards. And suddenly were back at the middle ’00’s where because of BALCO and the knowledge of "undetectable" drugs we, and the general public, began to question every outstanding performance in the sport!

Of course this brings back the question of drug testing credibility – because we know historically "never failed a drug test" means "not caught yet"!

The credibility of the US comes back into question – just when it seemed we’d shaken off the stench from BALCO. Joining us this time however, is Jamaica. Powell (9.72), Carter (9.78) & VCB (10.76/21.74) this year. Blake (9.69/19.26) and SAFP (10.70) previously suspended. You don’t get much higher on the all time lists than this group.

Yes, this was a very BAD weekend for the sport. With our biggest meet before us, we now must spend time answering questions instead of promoting the sport – something we never seem to be able to get to!

As I stand here watching the flames envelope the sport I love,I don’t blame any of the athletes, not one. Because they are pawns in a game that’s not designed for them – I said I was going to talk frankly. They’re playing an amateur game with quasi professional rules designed to enrich those running the game while those providing the entertainment and producing the results fight for a decent payday. Human versions of Secretariat and Man ‘O War, they are groomed and do as they are told in the hope of receiving a larger portion of fodder than the competition while those holding the reigns get wealthy. The ultimate goal is to become the rare "Triple Crown Winner" that gets the big payday and cashes in!

It’s time to change that dynamic. It’s time to restructure, because this quasi/hybrid of ancient sport and modern money IS NOT WORKING! I love the sport, but this is a joke – and it’s not funny. Governing Body – Federations – Meet Promoters – Agents – Global Doping Agencies – Regional Doping Agencies – National Doping Agencies – athletes. So many middle men and apparently no one really in charge!

No, restructuring should be at the top of the list. Unfortunately however, none of the above will cast a vote to cut their interest. So maybe it’s time to just let it burn  like Sherman’s march through Atlanta – and with it everything that is wrong, Rebuild and create a new version. One where athletes are the focus. Where pay is equitable. A sport where the focus is on competition, not record setting. A version that commands respect from the general public.

Today I got the memo – the sport is in flames and in danger of dying. CHANGES are required to save it. The question is, is the sport willing to change, or are all the individual factions self centered enough to resist and instead go down in flames?

Edit – since I wrote and posted this, it has come out that Nesta Carter was not one that tested positive. So my apology to Mr Carter.

Tags: ,

12 Responses to “Moscow and the Sport in Flames”

  1. Hopeton says:

    Please correct, Carter is not involved

  2. Aurelio Feldman says:

    I think that SAFP case is a little different because it was not a PED.

    • Anderson says:

      Regardless, she had to serve a suspension so it counts. Same thing for Blake no matter what the case was, a suspension for an illegal substance was served.

      • Aurelio Feldman says:

        I don´t agree with you. If you going to treat a person who is a muderer the same way you treat a person who shoplifts you can treat SAFP the same way that you treat Blake, who was banned because of a stimulant.

        • Anderson says:

          I’m not saying treat them the same way. I’m just saying they have been involved with a ban, like Conway said. They weren’t juicing like Ben Johnson or Marion Jones no. But the IAAF had to issue them a ban. That’s something that cannot be taken of their record.

          • Aurelio Feldman says:

            But if you see how Conway said it, in the same sentence talking about Balco scandal and other athletes that got suspended, or will be, for PEDS.
            What happened to her was something different, the drug she took was a painkiller that is banned but does not improve your performance and putting her with people that cheated is plain wrong.

          • CHill says:

            But that’s how the sport functions .. A ban is a ban and you are listed with Ben Johnson .. When you’re “banned” you’re labeled a cheat .. Frankly I didn’t call anyone a cheat … I simply used the vernacular of the sport ..

            Personally I’m not, nor have I ever been, happy about the way this sport has handled this issue .. And I said years ago, that it won’t be until an athlete in favor failed a test, that the issue wood be properly addressed .. Sort of like a corner that everyone knows need a stop light .. But doesn’t get one until a senseless death occurs ..

  3. Aurelio Feldman says:

    The thing is, that the general public really don´t care about Gay and Powell and the rest of them. So, it is like cycling, only when the big one came down, Lance Armstrong, people stopped for a moment to pay atention.
    When we start to talk to guys like us, track fans, well, at least when I talked to 2 friends about it, it seems that everybody are waiting for that kind of news, which is sad.
    I really feel sorry for Gay, he is a great guy and champion and whatever happened is not going to change my opinion about him.
    Now, about the Jamaicans, I love them, I really do, but something very wrong is going on with their staff because exception made to Bolt, Weir, Frater and SAFP(which suspension was for painkillers not PEDS) a lot of their top sprinters got involved with PED suspensions in the past years. And every single time the answer for the problem is the staff people, even in SAFP case when her coach gave her the painkiller for her tooth problem.
    These athletes are professional and they can´t afford to live like that, without proper aproach to nutrition and the legal suplements that they use.

  4. Anderson says:

    Carter is not involved. That was only speculation.

    Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson, Allison Randal, Traves Smickle and Demar Robinson are the 5 Jamaicans.

  5. Rohan says:

    Sad day for T &F. Atto Boldon did an article on some changes he thinks should be effected and I agree.

  6. Patrick says:

    How can you say Greene has not been touched. Multiple confirmed reports of his purchasing drugs and his only reply was it was for training mates! Yea right and I have a bridge from London to sell you. As other media have reported this week, Bolt is only sub 9.84 guy untouched by drugs so far. Can we say its becoming a Lance kinda deal?

Leave a Reply