Bolt in the clear
KINGSTON, Jamaica –– Jamaica’s poster boy for athletics Usain Bolt has been listed as one of the few athletes in the latest doping scandal to have recorded no abnormal results.
A leak of doping tests data from the ruling International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) by a whistle-blower, detailed “suspicious” blood tests in a fresh allegation of cover-up in the sport just weeks before the World Championship in Beijing.
But Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), dismissed the latest allegation that has rocked the athletics world as unfortunate.
“It was almost like when they got the data they were hoping that someone like Usain Bolt is among the suspicious category, because it did not need to be mentioned,” said Dr Blake.
“Can you imagine if he had a suspicious test? It wouldn’t be a suspicious test anymore; it would be Usain Bolt on drugs. It would have been a failed test. They would have tried and found him guilty,” he added.
“They wanted to know if his name was amongst it. If his name was amongst it, they would try and destroy the whole sport,” Dr Blake theorised.
The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WRD have obtained access to the results of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes, and according to the newspaper, the evidence reveals the “extraordinary extent of cheating” by athletes at the world’s biggest events.
The report used two anti-doping experts, scientists Robin Parisotto and Michael Ashenden, to review the data and they revealed a third of medals (146, including 55 gold), in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012, were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious test results. It is claimed that none of these athletes has been stripped of their medals.
“It’s a little unfortunate because it represents the leak of confidential information,” noted Dr Blake.
He continued: “If you realise, in the information, nowhere is it saying people are hiding positive tests. It doesn’t show that these people were tested positive or the IAAF was covering up a raft of positive tests.”
“But the impression is that the IAAF was covering up, and in doing so, is protecting drug cheats,” said Dr Blake.
The JAAA boss, who will be seeking one of the nine seats for Ordinary Members on the IAAF Council from the 39 nominees later this month, said the leaked story is misleading.
“I think the story went off-key because it makes it look like those athletes whose tests were suspicious are said to be guilty. You cannot prosecute based on suspicions. It’s a waste of time; the case would go nowhere,” he explained.
The investigative story also showed that more than 800 athletes –– one in seven of those named in the files –– have recorded blood tests described by one of the experts as “highly suggestive of doping or at the very least abnormal”.
Ten medals at the London 2012 Olympics were won by athletes who have dubious test results. In some finals, every athlete in the three medal positions had recorded a suspicious blood test.
The reports also stated that Russia emerges as “the blood testing epicentre of the world” with more than 80 per cent of the country’s medals won by suspicious athletes, while Kenya had 18 medals won by suspicious athletes.
“Stars such as Britain’s Mo Farah and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt recorded no abnormal results,” the reports showed.
“So to come and say the Kenyans have how many tainted athletes and all that does the sport of track and field a disservice; either they are guilty or not guilty. If they fall into the suspicious category, they are not guilty,” Dr Blake reiterated.