IAAF Says Anti-Doping Program Credibility 'Enhanced' In Light Of Failed Doping Tests
The int'l athletics federation (IAAF) said the credibility of its anti-doping program has been "enhanced, not diminished" after sprinters Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American Tyson Gay returned positive tests for banned substances, according to the AP. IAAF Deputy Secretary General and Communications Dir Nick Davies said that "the governing body for track and field does not comment on pending cases," but added that the fight against doping "is enhanced, not diminished, each time we are able to uncover a new case" (AP, 7/15). In London, Matt Majendie wrote UK Athletics Performance Dir Neil Black said that "British athletes are leading the fight against doping." Black "has pledged to step up" the battle in the wake of Sunday's failed doping tests. Asked about UK Athletics being a bastion of the anti-doping battle, Black said, "I like to think we are. We believe that's [doping] not what our athletes do" (EVENING STANDARD, 7/15).
ATHLETICS CRISIS: The LONDON TIMES' Rick Broadbent wrote "athletics is facing its worst crisis for decades." On one of the "bleakest days in the sport's tainted history," it emerged that four other Jamaicans, including Sherone Simpson, a Gold Medalist in the 4x100M relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, "also tested positive at last month's national trials" (LONDON TIMES, 7/15). The PA reported the banned drug oxilofrine that Powell and Simpson have tested positive for "is a stimulant used to boost the body's ability to burn fat." The substance "helps athletes boost their power-to-weight ratio with more lean muscle and less fat, and so increase their speed." The stimulant in question may also increase the rate at which the heart reaches its maximum performance during exercise, "meaning a greater supply of oxygen can get to the muscles earlier" (PA, 7/15).
CONFISCATED DRUGS: In London, Nick Squires wrote "Italian police have reportedly discovered a stash of unidentified pills and medicines" in the hotel room of Powell. Carabinieri officers "searched Powell's hotel room overnight." Italian press reports said that "Police from a specialist drug and food safety unit found around 50 boxes and vials containing medicines and pills." A police source said, "For the moment there have been no arrests." The Ansa news agency reported Police were "surprised" at the quantity of drugs they found in the hotel room because it was "disproportionate" to the needs of one athlete (TELEGRAPH, 7/15).
MUM'S THE WORD: The JAMAICA GLEANER's Ryon Jones wrote Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association President Dr. Warren Blake, "is mum on the five Jamaican athletes who returned adverse analytical findings, pending the testing of their 'B' samples." Blake: "As is the policy, I do not comment on any 'A' sample result. The rules say until a 'B' sample result is back and it is positive, there is nothing to discuss. So before the JAAA comments, the 'B' sample would have to come back positive or the athletes make it known" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 7/15).
CUTTING TIES: Adidas Monday suspended its sponsorship deal with Gay after he "failed an out-of-competition dope test," according to REUTERS. An adidas spokesperson said, "We are shocked by these recent allegations, and even if we presume his innocence until proven otherwise, our contract with Tyson is currently suspended" (REUTERS, 7/15). The London TELEGRAPH reported Puma sponsors the Jamaican track and field team "through a contract with the national association," but the company "declined to comment because it does not have individual contracts with any of the athletes involved" (TELEGRAPH, 7/15).
DOPING IN INDONESIA: In Jakarta, Afriatni & Satwiko reported a letter from the Olympic Council of Asia said that Indonesian swimmers Indra Gunawan and Guntur Pratama Putra both "tested positive for methylhexaneamine, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency." At the Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, "Indra won Indonesia's only gold in the men's 50-meter breaststroke while Guntur was part of the men's 4x50m and 4x100m freestyle relay that won silver and bronze medals respectively" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 7/15).