Thankfully the Championships at Barcelona passed off without serious drug incidents, to reveal what sport is really about – exciting racing! – and epic battles in some of the jumps, and middle distance races, showed how good drug free sport can be.
It also revealed the long shadows and contrasts, never more stark than in the ladies 1500m. Lisa Dobriskey has made her views known and rightly so!
Two athletes she lined up against:
Take Anna Alminova who is coming off a 3-month drug ban for taking a “cold medicine” – I assume ephedrine. Too many Russian women have been busted for drugs the last few years – take the urine substitution scandal at Bejing. Thus dominating performances raise eyebrows.
When Tim Hutchings and the international broadcasters openly raised their suspicions on the broadcast: stating that her performance in the paris diamond league, was not just “good” they wondered whether it was “too good” – the fastest time for years. So the question remains was it real?
And the diamond league shows another dark contrast – with another athlete who beat Lisa Dobriskey that day Frenchwoman Hind Dehiba, a convicted drug cheat who finished ahead of dobriskey.
You cannot help but wonder why both of them – Alminova and Dehiba – have been allowed into diamond league events at all when Dwain Chambers is not.
There is clear double standards on the part of the French.
Then take Oliveira Jevtic in the marathon, whose crime is ostensibly the same as alminova, a 3 month ban for a cold cure imposed at the New York marathon, who Paula Radcliffe remarked in commentary was barred from the big city marathons seemingly as a result – and had no options but to race in championships. An indefinite ban, If I understood what Paula said correctly that is.
My clear statement to organisers. Double standards do not help.
Clear rules, that apply to all. No exceptions, no preferential treatment. A ban that is served, is the record wiped clean. The question over how long the ban should be is a separate issue completely. And whatever is decided it must apply to all – regardless of country or local olympic association.
But well done Barcelona! Some great races and competitions – that will go down in the memories of all who saw them.
From the wonderful gesture of Jesus Espana welcoming Mo Farrar as new 5000 champion, to the tears of Blanca Vlasic , when finally getting ahead in a red hot jump competition that kept all on their seats. Too many memories to pick just one!!