SOBOLEVA OUT OF BEIJING


This Forum was created to divert traffic from Current Events at the height of the BALCO scandal. It comes and goes as "needed"; it's back to being locked.

Postby El Toro » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:02 pm

Vault-emort wrote:Unless they've changed the rules, world weighlifting federation bans any country from international weightlifting comps if the country has had three positives in a year.


Not quite. The tests have to be in international competition and there has been provision to pay a fine to the IWF rather than serve the suspension. Now that's the way to encourage a cash strapped organisation to hold the line........
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Postby EPelle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:07 am

It:s getting better by the hour:

The Russian media alleged the seven samples had been manipulated by a western company.

"We have yet to realise the scale of the catastrophe," the newspaper wrote. "It appears all of them (the female athletes) are merely hostages in somebody else's very big game."


"I call what is happening now a provocation staged deliberately to knock out the potential medalists right before the Olympics," Kommersant business daily quoted Soboleva as saying.

"All of us had the best chances to win medals in Beijing. I stress once again that I reject the accusations brought against me by the IAAF (athletics' world governing body).

"I also ask my fans to forgive me for being charged with what I am actually not guilty of."

http://www.reuters.com/article/olympics ... 7220080801
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Postby peach » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:12 am

The funniest bit about that article is in that the furore and frenzy about all of this, the media claims "FIVE OF OUR GOLDS HAVE BEEN FLUSHED DOWN THE DRAIN"- ignoring the fact that even if all of them HAD been able to win every event they entered, as 3 of them are entered in the 1500m, they could have only won four in the FIRST PLACE

What a ridiculous load of hogwash. Ban the sorry lot of them...
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Postby lapsus » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:21 am

Hmm.

Does this mean the Russians' performances between Osaka and now will be annulled?

Will Gelete Burka get indoor 1500 meter WR for a race she placed 3rd in?

Could you say the Valencia race was a "mixed race"? Burka was kind of paced until the end... :wink:
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Postby Jaack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:04 am

Vault-emort wrote:
Jaack wrote:
Moura wrote:We know all problems cycling is facing, in weightlifting all athletes qualified from Bulgaria to OG were banned and now this with several russian athletes.
I mentioned doping is a WorldWide problem and unfortunately I start to believe that any outstanding performance from anyone has an high probability of being "dirty".
I may be wrong, but I don't believe the Bulgairan team were banned per se....11 or 12 athletes failed doping tests and as a result, the Bulgarian federation decided to keep the entire team out of the olympics?!

Unless they've changed the rules, world weighlifting federation bans any country from international weightlifting comps if the country has had three positives in a year.

According to this article, it was the Bulgarian Federation themselves.....but, well they may have pre -empted the inevitable?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic ... 477827.stm

Either way, the manner in which the Bulgarian fed handled this, portraying anger and disappointment towards the athletes with a view to clean things up, well, surely Russia should be employing similar tactics?
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Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:42 am

Soboleva Says She's Shocked By Doping Results

Finally the truth comes out. I have no doubt they are shocked they got caught.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:13 am

Marlow, you wanna bet what happens next?

Someone:s neighbour-to-a-neighbour-to-a-neighbour-to-a-Western State:s oil supply gets turned off as a Russian protest ;-)

(or those visa applications for the 2013 champs suddenly - and mysteriously - get delayed, or, worse, lost for a group of friendlies travelling on through).
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Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:17 am

Just out of interest, now the testing is getting more sophisticated, who is paying for all these tests? They are not cheap.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:07 am

As one can imagine, Soboleva was front-page news in several dailies:

Image

The large, center headline in bold means: "Switched". The lower right one means, "Olympics, First Blood."

Tabloids weren:t as bad as Aftonbladet.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:14 am

Russia won:t appeal the seven temporary bans until after Beijing:

"We don't really want to create a scandal, convinced that something is one way and then get proof that directly contradicts it. We especially don't want to do this directly in Beijing."

"If the athletes are guilty, they will be punished. If we see that the international sporting organisations have not followed the letter of the law, then we will be discussing this differently. Perhaps in court or other means of defence," he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7694909
Last edited by EPelle on Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jaack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:17 am

EPelle wrote:As one can imagine, Soboleva was front-page news in several dailies:

.
Sheesh, Soboleva sure is the face they're using! When really (big, bad)Tomashova is the one with all of the titles!?
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Postby EPelle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:19 am

Soboleva is the world:s fastest athlete at two distances, the reigning world indoor champion and the world indoor record-holder.

News flash: IOC may decide to impose sanctions on Russia
http://www.theage.com.au/news/latest-ne ... 35147.html
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Postby Jaack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:22 am

EPelle wrote:Soboleva is the world:s fastest athlete at two distances, the reigning world indoor champion and the world indoor record-holder.

News flash: IOC may decide to impose sanctions on Russia
http://www.theage.com.au/news/latest-ne ... 35147.html


Sure Epelle, I understand the reasoning, and also...Soboleva is quite aesthetically pleasing!

Thanks for the additional information. Things get more and more interesting!
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Postby BruceFlorman » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:40 am

Daisy wrote:Just out of interest, now the testing is getting more sophisticated, who is paying for all these tests? They are not cheap.

I haven’t read anything about any “new” super-duper tests. All I’ve seen so far is changes in testing and enforcement policy. It may be that they hadn’t done any DNA verification of the samples prior to this time, but the DNA testing itself is hardly a revolutionary breakthrough.

The sequence of events, as they’ve been put forth so far is this:
  1. In April-May 2007 out-of-competition samples were collected from these seven Russian athletes, along with many others, I presume. They were tested and came out clean. The samples were then stored for comparison with later samples. Whether all OOC samples from this timeframe were stored, or just those from targeted individuals or countries hasn’t been publicly revealed.
  2. In August-September 2007 a new set of samples were collected at the WC in Osaka. Again, the samples themselves came out clean.
  3. At some point between September 2007 and June 2008, although precisely when hasn’t been revealed, the DNA from the first set of samples was tested against the DNA from the second set, and for these seven it was found that they didn’t match. Again, whether similar tests were conducted for all WC participants, just those from targeted countries, or just for targeted individuals hasn’t been revealed.
  4. In early June the Russian federation was informed that there were issues with these seven athletes. The President of the federation asked whether they should be excluded from the Russian championships, and was told that there was no basis for doing so “at the moment”.
  5. The day after the conclusion of the Russian champs, an IAAF representative went to Russia to collect direct DNA samples from the seven athletes involved (although evidently he only ended up meeting with six of them).
  6. One day before the deadline for making changes to the composition of the Olympic teams, the IAAF informed the Russian federation that the DNA tests indicated that the DNA in the April-May 2007 samples had not come from the athletes in question, and on that basis, those seven were being “temporarily suspended”.

There’s a lot that we don’t know about the testing procedures involved here. It’s not too hard to come up with scenarios that would put the results into question. Now I’ll state that I personally doubt very much that these seven gals are innocent victims in all this. They probably did exactly what they’re being accused of. Nevertheless, I think the Russians have some very legitimate complaints about the way the IAAF is handling the situation. Whether the IAAF’s accusations will stand up in court or not is completely unproven, but the punishment is already being imposed without a hearing of any sort whatsoever. Hearings on suspensions of this nature are required “within two months”, but the outcome of these are completely moot in this situation.

The IAAF/WADA/whoever-did-the-testing could certainly have collected the direct DNA samples earlier. And as far as that goes, it doesn’t appear that the outcome of these final tests has any logical bearing on the suspensions. Whether it was the earlier samples or the later that had come from unknown surrogates, the “charge” is tampering with the tests, so which of the two had been tampered with is immaterial. It’s completely obvious that the timing of all this was deliberately intended to keep these athletes out of the Olympics, and to prevent the Russians from replacing them, regardless of whether or not the charges can be made to stick.

I’m seeing all sorts of huzzahs and back-slapping here, but I wonder if you’d all feel the same way if the names were changed? Christine Ohruogu missed three OOC tests. Suppose the IAAF said yesterday: “That’s suspicious, so we’re suspending her. But don’t worry, she can defend herself against the charges in September.” Bernard Legat failed a test for EPO, but got the results overturned in court. If the IAAF announced that this was suspicious, and suspended him “temporarily”, would you all still be happy?

Bottom line: Do you really feel that the cops should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as they’re catching some of the bad guys?
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Postby Daisy » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:14 am

BruceFlorman wrote:
Daisy wrote:Just out of interest, now the testing is getting more sophisticated, who is paying for all these tests? They are not cheap.

I haven’t read anything about any “new” super-duper tests. All I’ve seen so far is changes in testing and enforcement policy. It may be that they hadn’t done any DNA verification of the samples prior to this time, but the DNA testing itself is hardly a revolutionary breakthrough.


I did not mean to imply it was revolutionary, but DNA testing is not one of WADA's normal tests as far as I know. And its not just the price of the tests (about $250, so it's not an extortionate price). More tests means sending out more testers, I assume they are not voluntary.

i think we know exactly what happened with regard to the tests. They did DNA tests on the urine samples (effectively a DNA fingerprint). They then did the same on the cheek swab sample. If the swab fingerprint does not match the urine fingerprint they must have tampered with the sample.

Possibly they could have taken the swabs earlier, or processed them faster, who knows? All I know is that it is better they are not running and depriving other athletes of their medal cermony experience.

With regard to EPO there is no comparison. That test is much more subjective than a DNA fingerprint. The urine and swab fingerprints either match or they don't. The only defense would be that the samples have been switched (as opposed to the normal defense that the samples were not stored correctly). Even then, there may well be other evidence that builds on the case. Possibly those athletes with the same coach all have a urine sample with the same fingerprint (speculation on my part). Unless the athletes are closely related this would be highly unlikely.

BruceFlorman wrote:Bottom line: Do you really feel that the cops should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as they’re catching some of the bad guys?


I find it hard to believe that these suspensions would have been brought at this time with subpar evidence. So yes, better these athletes do not run, regardless of the timing.
Last edited by Daisy on Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gh » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:19 am

EPelle wrote:Russia won:t appeal the seven temporary bans until after Beijing:...


So now the key question is, when do we find out who (if anybody) they replace the miscreants with?
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Postby mrbowie » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:01 pm

science vs. the bad guys.

go science!
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Postby gh » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:05 pm

except that it's bad science vs. good science and bad keeps winning
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Postby Jaack » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:09 pm

gh wrote:
EPelle wrote:Russia won:t appeal the seven temporary bans until after Beijing:...


So now the key question is, when do we find out who (if anybody) they replace the miscreants with?

I think as bruce notes
One day before the deadline for making changes to the composition of the Olympic teams, the IAAF informed the Russian federation that the DNA tests indicated that the DNA in the April-May 2007 samples had not come from the athletes in question, and on that basis, those seven were being “temporarily suspended”.

The whole point of the IAAF springing the suspension on them as this late date, was to prevent alternate entires? I may be wrong, and indeed, often am.
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Postby BruceFlorman » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:09 pm

gh wrote:So now the key question is, when do we find out who (if anybody) they replace the miscreants with?

According to... http://www.allsport.ru/index.php?id=16666
  • Yekaterina Kostetskaya will replace Soboleva in the 800.
  • Anna Alminova will be the only Russian participant in the 1500.
  • Pishchalnikova won't be replaced, since Russia only had three with the A standard in the DT.
  • Yelena Priyma will replace Khanafeeva in the HT.
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Postby BruceFlorman » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:13 pm

Jaack wrote:The whole point of the IAAF springing the suspension on them as this late date, was to prevent alternate entires? I may be wrong, and indeed, often am.

They did have one alternate in each event but the DT, where only 3 Russians had the A standard. So by head count, they lost two participants in the 1500 and one in the DT. They've still got the full compliment of 3 in the 800 and HT.
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Postby nevetsllim » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:52 pm

That's interesting - Alminova's coach is Lyubov Gurina.
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Postby nevetsllim » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:59 pm

And her other coach is Sergey Yepishin, father of Andrei.
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Postby tandfman » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:17 pm

BruceFlorman wrote:
Jaack wrote:The whole point of the IAAF springing the suspension on them as this late date, was to prevent alternate entires? I may be wrong, and indeed, often am.

They did have one alternate in each event but the DT, where only 3 Russians had the A standard. So by head count, they lost two participants in the 1500 and one in the DT. They've still got the full compliment of 3 in the 800 and HT.

It's not so much quantity as quality. Their medal count could be down by 3 or 4.
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Postby cacique » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:56 pm

sorry to add a link to another media story (since i haven't read all of the ones above), but according to the NYTimes:

the timing of this seemed to be intent on humiliating the russian federation (that no substitutions could be made to the rosters already submitted -- but apparently alternates will compete instead, as noted above);

and this part made me wince: catheter with "clean" urine is inserted in the bladder or condoms filled with the substitute urine is inserted in the vagina. i wonder, how can someone prepare for a race or competition with these manoeuvers before hand? it must be painful or uncomfortable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/sport ... oping.html
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Postby El Toro » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:28 pm

BruceFlorman wrote:The IAAF/WADA/whoever-did-the-testing could certainly have collected the direct DNA samples earlier.


Maybe, maybe not. We do know that WADA/IAAF etc have only recently been exploring new ways to enhance the doping test regimes. It may just be that they were not satisfied that the sample collection protocols were robust enough with regard to avoiding DNA contamination.

In addition to this, we do not know what testing service the IAAF was relying on. Don't think that DNA testing is usually as quick as you see on TV! There could have been significant delays in getting the testing done, sourcing expert capacity and bedding down defensible procedures.

The exemplar collection could have occurred as soon as the above was locked in but we won't know unless the IAAF give us a more detailed timeline. I wouldn't expect a lot more though because they will want to keep athletes and coaches in the dark and worried. Of course, after this year, they will probably never catch anybody else because this is easily avoided.
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Postby andyjgt » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:15 pm

nevetsllim wrote:And her other coach is Sergey Yepishin, father of Andrei.


And husband of Yekaterina Podkopayeva (btw I wonder why she ran under that name when her maiden name was Poryvkina and her married name would obviously be Yepishina).
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Postby ShaunP » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:03 am

cacique wrote:and this part made me wince: catheter with "clean" urine is inserted in the bladder or condoms filled with the substitute urine is inserted in the vagina. i wonder, how can someone prepare for a race or competition with these manoeuvers before hand? it must be painful or uncomfortable.


I think that it has not been discussed clearly, but I think that the questionable tests in this case were the OOC Tests in April/May of 2007. I am assuming that these were conducted by the IAAF as part of their OOC Testing programme that puts more attention on those countries where they do not have an effective National OOC Testing programme. Russia is one of those countries that is targetted by the IAAF with their OOC Testing programme, with most of the "Major Names" subject to multiple OOC tests from the IAAF in 2007, according to the list released by the IAAF which showed the number of tests performed on each athlete by the IAAF in 2007.

One of the issues with the effectiveness of the OOC Testing programmes of WADA or the International Federations such as the IAAF, is that to be effective they must be "Unannounced", so officers turn up in the middle of the night in order to surprise an athlete. There should be no notiice given at all, as if an athlete has even 15 minutes advanced notice, they could take measures, such as introducing clean urine into their own bladders by way of a cathater, or by hiding a recepticle (such as a condom) of clean urine in a body cavity that could give the appearance of an athlete providing a sample "naturally".

Female athletes have been known to insert a condom filled with clean urine into their vaginas, which could be burst with a sharp fingernail, in order to give the impression to the observing drug tester, that the athlete was in fact urinating. Some Testing officers do not want to watch too closely in what is a very embarrassing situation for both athlete and official.

Similarly, there have been male athletes that have inserted a bolus of clean urine in their anus, with a tube that runs between their legs and under the penis, with a clip that can be released to allow the impression of the athlete urinating. A picture of such a contraption was handed to WADA prior to the 2004 Olympic Games, which contributed to the disqualification of the Hungarian Throwers in Athens. Both Fazekas and Annus left the arena after the 5th round of competition, supposedly to use the bathroom, which could have provided the opportunity to introduce a clean urine sample into their bladders or recepticle. I do not believe that they took their final throws, as they had won the competition already, but this would avoid any potential discomfort.

Going back to the Russian case, if the Tests which show a change in DNA are these OOC tests from April/May 2007, these were then compared with samples taken under more controlled conditions, such as the Osaka World Champs and then more recently the individual DNA samples provided in Moscow under supervision of Gabrielle Dolle, which confirmed that the earlier samples were not from the intended person.

One of the major problems in the fight against doping is the lack of effective OOC Testing programmes around the world. Of the 215 or so countries represented at the IAAF World Champs (or Olympic Games) at the last count only 14 of these nations actually performed their own OOC Testing programme. WADA or the IAAF OOC Testing programmes would not test as often in these 14 countries (such as the USA or UK) as they would in other countries, and particulary those where doping may be suspected. IN many of these countries, if is difficult or impossible for any foreign Doping Control Officers to gain entry to a country unannounced, as they require an entry Visa which must be obtained weeks in advance. One of the initiatives that WADA is looking into is trying to obtain "Diplomatic Passports" which would not require such Visas, and so would allow Doping Control Officers to travel freely and to actually arrive at an athletes home or training venue unannounced.

In this case, with so many different athletes suspected of using this particular method to avoid detection, then it implies a "systematic" approach to doping, which could implicate particular coaches or even at thae worst case a national or regional federation, much in the same way that BALCO showed a systematic approach by a particular group of athletes. This does not mean that the Russian federation was responsible any more than USATF was responsible for BALCO.

In the USA, the OOC drug testing programme allows the Testing Officers to call an athlete on their cellphone if they cannot be found at their residence or place of training as indicated on their whereabouts forms, and the athletes have a grace period (of one hour, I believe) in which to get to the venue where the testing officers are waiting. This allows for athletes that might be in the weightroom or Training room rather than the track, to avoid a potential missed test! This is to protect athletes rights and is a reasonable approach...

This grace period or attempt to contact the athlete is not employed in the UK Sport OOC Testing programme...If an athlete is not found at the indicated location within a 60 minute period, this results in a missed test, which is why many feel that Christine Ohurugu was treated harshly by comparison..........

The IAAF is resistant to the system as employed in the US, where a call is made to the athlete, as this opens a window of opportunity for an athlete intent on Doping to avoid providing a potentially positive sample, to introduce a clean sample into their body somehow. Unfortunately it may only be a very small minority of athletes that would use such methods, but the technology is there to do it if even a 15 minute window is available.

Freeze dried "clean urine samples" are readily available via the internet, to allow employees to circumvent drug testing in the work environment, from the same people that brought us the "Whizzinator". The interesting thing about some of these "clean" samples is that they can appear "too clean" as they do not show the presence of some things that should normally be in a sample. This was also indicated by the IAAF in regard to previous "Russian" test samples, in that they were suspicious in their purity!!!!

In the future, perhaps absence of certain metabolites or substances from a urine or blood sample, could be just as clear an indicator of doping practice as the presence of a particular drug. This is the movement to more intelligence based testing methods and practice in the fight against doping.

I am pleased that it seems to be working, and also that they are choosing to use the Olympic Games as the platform to be introducing some of these methods. I hope that they will also introduce an effective HGH test in Beijing and also a better EPO test.

It will be very interesting to see if we have a large number of suspicious "last minute" withdrawals through injury from these games as we had in the 1983 Pan Am Games....

Anything that protects the clean athletes and levels the playing field for the "Good Guys" is ok with me....

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Postby nevetsllim » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:05 am

andyjgt wrote:
nevetsllim wrote:And her other coach is Sergey Yepishin, father of Andrei.


And husband of Yekaterina Podkopayeva (btw I wonder why she ran under that name when her maiden name was Poryvkina and her married name would obviously be Yepishina).


Maybe she wanted a name which nobody could pronounce :wink:

Podkopayeva and Yepishin also coach Chumakova.
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Postby EPelle » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:06 am

It may also have had to do with what visa stamps she had in her old passport, and their ease of having them re-issued under a new name.
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Postby Flumpy » Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:21 am

Thanx Shaun. I love your posts. They always clearly and concisely explain complicated situations.
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Postby Mennisco » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:14 am

ShaunP wrote:Similarly, there have been male athletes that have inserted a bolus of clean urine in their anus... Both Fazekas and Annus left the arena after the 5th round of competition, supposedly to use the bathroom...



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Madd Marine » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:20 am

BruceFlorman wrote:
I’m seeing all sorts of huzzahs and back-slapping here, but I wonder if you’d all feel the same way if the names were changed? Christine Ohruogu missed three OOC tests. Suppose the IAAF said yesterday: “That’s suspicious, so we’re suspending her. But don’t worry, she can defend herself against the charges in September.” Bernard Legat failed a test for EPO, but got the results overturned in court. If the IAAF announced that this was suspicious, and suspended him “temporarily”, would you all still be happy?

Bottom line: Do you really feel that the cops should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as they’re catching some of the bad guys?


Very good post Bruce. You address the issue of selective enforcement that guys have mentioned to me (runners who have competed on the GP Circuit). This seems to never be mentioned in any of the media or it is dismissed as "conspiracy theory" or "sour grapes". I think the only time it might have been allowed to see print was Michael Stember speaking about it on one occasion. I will not get into the politics that some feel are behind this, and those politics are outside of track, but it is bizarre and I think there is probably some truth to it.

I always wonder about this for several reasons, and one is interesting to note. A distance runner from the US who had been to the Games, no I will not name him, said he knew positively that several medalists were doped to their ears and he went into how he knew, who else knew, the drugs, their coaches and some other experiences. It was interesting to say the least. But when being interviewed for pubs or TV he would simply remark on how talented these guys were. He didn't want the hassle and he said that there was no way he could stop it anyhow. But he admitted he was angry and then pointed out the testing he would go through while others could miss testing and it was excused or that he and others knew about positive tests that were covered up. Maybe he and others were pulling my leg but I doubt it. It makes me wonder if some other countries came up with a full house in terms of doping (like the Russian women) would the authorities be handing out suspensions right or left? Or would they bury the results or maybe come to the rescue with "negative B samples" or some other way out?
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Postby 26mi235 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:03 am

SP
"..Bernard Legat failed a test for EPO, but got the results overturned in court. If the IAAF announced that this was suspicious, and suspended him “temporarily”, would you all still be happy? .."

Lagat's "B" sample was negative, so I did not think that it took a court case to clear him. He did take the IAAF to court for having prevented him from running the WCs(?) and for lost earnings, as I recall.
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