My predictive powers are nil. However, some historical analysis is worthwhile, even though we all know this stuff. The point is to put VCB & sub-22 in a broad view, to show: (a) VCB is a truly special athlete, & (b) sub-22 is a rare accomplishment. Using all-athletics.com data:
We are now 34 seasons into the sub-22 era (1979-2012). A quick glance at the data suggests that sub-22, while special, may not be a big deal. After all, 23 women are in the sub-22 club, & 94 performances. However, if we break this sub-22 era down into two equal groups -- first 17 seasons (1979-1995) & second 17 seasons (1996-2012), we see a different picture emerge. It's a familiar picture, but a fresh look is useful.
In the 1979-1995 half of this era, 18 women entered the sub-22 club, with (assuming I counted right) 72 performances. Ten of the 18 women in the club ran multiple sub-22 -- crossing this threshold seemed common.
However, in the 1996-2012 half of this era only 5 women entered the sub-22 club. One of these was Marion Jones, & because this is my post, I get to disqualify all of her marks. Someone else can add her in if you wish. Absent Marion Jones, that leaves just 4 athletes (and only 11 performances) entering the sub-22 club in the past 17 seasons:
Allison Felix (5)
USA Ch 12
Veronica Campbell Brown (4)
Jamaican Ch 08
New York/Adidas 10
Jamaican Ch 08
Note these 11: 8 of them are the most important & competitive settings in the world for this event: OG, WC, USA & Jamaican championships. & in these competitions, several of the great ones of this era were present (i.e., VCB in 3 of AF's sub-22's; AF in 2 of VCB's sub-22s; Kerron Stewart in a couple of AF's & VCB's; & of course, other great ones such as SAFP, SRR, Jeter et al. in most of these competitions, too). In fact, the only competition among these 11 that was neither a WC/OG or USA/Jamaican championship nor a stacked Diamond League event was VCB's sub-22 in Barcelona 08.
What does clarification of the history tell me? What we know, but with greater clarity: VCB is one of the all-time greats in this event (Felix the other). And, sub-22 is rare -- the setting and competition has to be of the highest order.
I don't believe everyone was doping in the first half of the sub-22 era any more than I believe no one is doping now. But I do believe doping was more prevalent in the first half of this era, & the historical trajectory of the marks strongly suggests this. & in the first half of the era, a clean athlete's performances would of necessity be improved, simply for regularly being among very fast competition, however achieved.
This data, combined with VCB's age and age in the event, may mean that her prospects for sub-22 are remote, as they are for everyone in this era. Whatever she does this season, she is one of the truly greats.