1) She will retire this year 2) She would have liked to start in Moskau, but the federation insisted on her starting at the National Championships. She went for a last payday in Paris instead 3) During her career she was beaten by athletes who later tested positive 13 (!) times. She was screwed out of medals by cheats twice.
I believe Eastern European countries often used track athletes as pushers.
Herschel Walker might have been the first non-bobsledder to do it in this country. I'm sure there is an equation to size, strength and speed which separates good pushers from bad and track sprinters and football players would fit that equation.