The Steeple Chase

Bolt, Bailey-Cole, Ashmeade and Carter Gold Medalists - 2013 World Championships

Yelena Isinbayeva - 2013 World Championships in Athletics

The Steeple Chase

Blake, Bolt and Weir

The High Jump

Mo Farah

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis

Women's 100m final at the London Olympics 2012

Michael Mathieu, Chris Brown, Ramon Miller and Demetrius Pinder celebrate the 4×400 relay gold medal for the Bahamas.

Sally Pearson 2011 World champion and 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 metres hurdles

Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison

Arantxa King of Bermuda competes in the women’s long jump qualification at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 10, 2013. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

World Athletics Championships: London 2017 'will be cleanest ever'

(BBC) Athletics has "come through the worst" of its doping problems and the London 2017 World Championships will be the "cleanest ever", according to the event's director Niels de Vos. The sport remains dogged by allegations of doping, with Russia and Kenya facing bans from this summer's Olympics for failing to tackle cheating athletes. But UK Athletics chief De Vos said: "I think we're through the worst of it. "I think without doubt 2017 will be the cleanest championships ever." De Vos, 49, added: "I would be very hopeful 2017 will be a very clean games but it's impossible to say with certainty and that's a shame." Russia was suspended from world athletics in November and must now convince the sport's governing bodies it has reformed its doping polices to be reinstated at the Olympics. Three IAAF officials were banned for life in January for breaching anti-doping rules while Kenya has missed two deadlines to prove it can combat drug-taking.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Semenya makes history at nationals

Stellenbosch - Stealing the show from a reigning world champion, Caster Semenya won national titles in the 400, 800, and 1 500 metres and ran Olympic qualifying times in the first two events at the South African championships on Saturday. Looking sharper than she has in years, the former 800 metre world champion set world-leading times in the 400 and 800. Finishing with the 1 500, Semenya became the first athlete to win all three titles at the championships, and did it within about four hours. "The legs don't feel too much pain. I'll pay tomorrow," she said. Even though it's early in the Olympic year, Semenya's performance in her favoured 800, which came less than an hour after her 400 race, suggested she may again put a list of struggles behind her to challenge in Rio de Janeiro in August. The competition may not have been strong, but her times in both the one and two-lap races were: A personal best 50.74 seconds in the 400, and 1 minute, 58.45 seconds in the 800. "I'm quite impressed with the performances of tonight. I didn't expect to run like this, fast times like this," Semenya said. "The 400 and 800, it was just marvellous." Her 1 500 victory was in 4:10.93, outside the Olympic qualifier. In between Semenya's first two victories, world champion Wayde van Niekerk retained his 400 metre title in 44.98 seconds, also going under the South African qualifying mark for the Rio Games. Van Niekerk cruised through the first 200 to win easily on the final day of the two-day meet in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town. He said he ran cautiously after feeling tightness in his back and hamstrings during his qualifying races on Friday. "I'm just really pleased that I can leave the track feeling healthy and feeling confident again," Van Niekerk said. "I had quite a few challenges this weekend." Van Niekerk, whose victory was one of the big surprises of last year's world championships in Beijing, said he'd stay at home and train for the next six weeks before heading to Europe to race in June. "I'll try and pick up the momentum (for the Olympics)," he said. Shrugging off concerns over the short gap between the 400 and 800 finals, Semenya sped past her rivals on the last corner in the 400. It was her first South African title in the event. About 50 minutes later, she clocked another quick time - three seconds inside the South African Olympic qualifying time - to win the 800 by more than seven seconds. Semenya is only 25. Her career has been tumultuous since she won the world 800 title as an 18-year-old in 2009 in a stunning 1:55.45. She was then suspended for nearly a year by the IAAF following gender tests. She returned to near her best to win silver medals at the 2011 worlds and 2012 London Olympics, but missed the 2013 worlds with injury. She failed to make the final of the 800 at last year's worlds following knee surgery and after twice changing coaches. "Sometimes you've got to enjoy what you do," Semenya said on Saturday. "I haven't had fun in a while." Despite her quick time in the 400, Semenya said the 800 was her focus for the Olympics. Source: http://www.sport24.co.za/

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Russian athletes in Rio may not be approved

(Denver Post) Russian track and field athletes were barred from international competition last November after an investigation revealed state-supported doping on a massive scale COLORADO SPRINGS — When David Oliver won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2013 world championships in Moscow, Russian Sergey Shubenkov claimed bronze. Last year Shubenkov succeeded Oliver as world champion, and Oliver finished the season ranked No. 2 in the world. Now there is a good chance Shubenkov won't be at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because of a massive scandal that resulted in a ban preventing his country's track and field athletes from competing internationally. After an investigation by an independent commission created by the World Anti-Doping Agency that documented state-sanctioned doping, the international track and field federation (IAAF) set out strict criteria that must be met before Russian athletes can regain their eligibility. Oliver, a graduate of Denver East and an Olympic bronze medalist, is skeptical the ban will hold. "Because of the stuff in this sport, I'm always like, 'I'll believe it when I see it,' " Oliver said. "I can't imagine them satisfying the criteria and being able to make it for the Olympics this summer. But they probably will find a way, because I just don't trust the hierarchy of any of these organizations, whether it be IAAF, WADA, any of them." But Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in Colorado Springs, finds it hard to envision a scenario allowing Russia to be reinstated in time. "Our position is the position we've heard from clean athletes from around the world, it's just simply not possible for Russian track and field athletes to be in a testing program that puts them on a level playing field with clean athletes," Tygart said. "The Russians are denying the proof in the report of a state-supported doping program, they're still attacking the whistle-blowers and the truth they put out there, there's no testing regime, the national anti-doping organization has been decertified, there's no laboratory to do (testing), it's a free-for-all." British anti-doping agency head Nicole Sapstead agrees with Tygart. In a meeting at the British Parliament last week, Sapstead was asked if she thought Russia could satisfy the criteria in time. "I don't think so," she said. "What we've seen is so entrenched ... I think it will take a number of years before any credibility can be attached to (Russia's) programs, and potentially the performances." Boulder's Emma Coburn finished ninth in the steeplechase at the London Olympics in a race won by Russian Yuliya Zaripova. At the time, Coburn was a University of Colorado senior making her Olympic debut. Four years later, she could be a medal contender. "In 2012, I wasn't contending for a medal. So the fact that there were Russians beating me and medaling who potentially have been suspected for cheating, at the time it didn't bother me," said Coburn, 25. "I wasn't as educated on the topic at the time. This time around it's definitely more important to me that everyone I'm competing against is on a level playing field and has a fair shot." "Most important whistle-blowers" The scandal began with allegations made in two documentaries by the German TV network ARD that exposed Russia's dirty doctors, coaches and athletes, along with corruption at the Russian anti-doping agency and bribery schemes. The ARD investigation began when 800-meter runner Yuliya Stepanova and her husband, Vitliy Stepanov, contacted ARD to expose the Russian cheating. ARD called them "probably the most important whistle-blowers in the history of sport," and they have since left Russia out of fear. An idealist, Stepanov said he initially went to work for the Russian anti-doping agency because he "wanted to fight doping," in order to "make sports cleaner, more honest, better." But shortly after he and Stepanova began dating, she told him why she was so fast: institutional doping. WADA set up the independent commission in response to the ARD investigation. In November it announced its findings, including: • The director of the Russian anti-doping lab in Moscow was an "aider and abettor" of doping, that the Russian FSB (security services formerly known as the KGB) "actively imposed an atmosphere of intimidation" in the Moscow lab and that "direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state" undermined its independence. • The Russian anti-doping agency helped athletes avoid detection by warning them before out-of-competition tests and helped athletes use false identities to evade tests. • The Russian track federation allowed "a systemic culture of doping," which created "an atmosphere in which an athlete's choice was frequently limited to accepting the prescribed and mandated doping regime or not being a member of the national team." The report recommended lifetime bans for the head of the track federation's medical commission, four coaches and five athletes. WADA suspended the Russian anti-doping agency and decertified the Moscow lab. The IAAF suspended the Russian federation, resulting in the ban against Russian athletes. Olympics will get underway Aug. 5 IAAF, working in conjunction with WADA, set the criteria the Russian federation must meet in order for the ban to be lifted: • The federation must dismiss anyone who has had any involvement in doping, resolve all pending disciplinary cases against Russian athletes "expeditiously" and investigate potential further cases, including all athletes who may have been provided with drugs by coaches and support personnel named in the independent commission's report and all athletes who have represented Russia at the elite level over the last four years. • The federation must demonstrate "a strong anti-doping culture moving forward," and if the ban against Russian athletes is lifted, no athlete will be eligible for international competition without having been tested three times in the six months prior to competing. "Even if they held everyone accountable that was involved — which has to be done — we just don't think it's possible in the short time before the Games to put in the kind of program while you still have leaders responsible for putting in that program denying the very proof that was presented and accepted by everyone in the independent commission report," Tygart said. The Rio Games are Aug. 5-21, but the crucial time for anti-doping efforts around the globe is now. "Irrefutable evidence showed (Russian cheating) was going on for years, even when they had a testing program in place, but now there is no testing program," Tygart said. "We all know that the six months immediately preceding a major competition, particularly the Olympic Games, is the time period where, if athletes are going to attempt to cheat and coaches are going to provide them with these drugs, that's when they're going to do it. "If you're not running an effective out-of-competition testing program, athletes aren't going to be clean by the time they get to the Games. And that's unfair to the (clean) athletes." John Meyer: jmeyer@denverpost.com or @johnmeyer Russian track was strong under doping regime Russia's track team finished second in the medals table at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 world championships, but after the German TV network ARD aired an expose on its state-sponsored doping program in late 2014 that triggered an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency, Russia struggled at the 2015 world championships. A look at medals tables from the last three major events in track and field, with gold, silver, bronze and total. 2012 Olympics G S B T 1. USA 9 12 7 28 2. Russia 8 4 5 17 3. Jamaica 4 4 4 12 2013 world championships 1. USA 6 14 5 25 2. Russia 7 4 6 17 3. Kenya 5 4 3 12 2015 world championships 1. USA 6 6 6 18 2. Kenya 7 6 3 16 3. Jamaica 7 2 3 9 9. Russia 2 1 1 4

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Justin Gatlin Clocks 9.74 time at Diamond League 100m

American Justin Gatlin ran the joint-sixth quickest 100m time in history to dominate the field in the Diamond League opener in Doha. The 33-year-old, who has served two doping bans, sprinted away to win his first race of 2015 in a time of 9.74 seconds - a world best for this year. It was a bad night for Britain's James Dasaolu , who finished last in the race in a time of 10.14. And Britain's Mo Farah could only finish second in the men's 3,000m. The 32-year-old was well-placed going into the final lap but conceded the lead with 300m to go and was unable to chase down eventual winner Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia down the final straight. Fastest 100m of 2015 9.74 secs - Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.84 secs - Asafa Powell (Jamaica) 9.93 secs - Ryan Bailey (USA) 9.93 secs - Clayton Vaughn (USA) 9.98 secs - Nesta Carter (Jam) Gatlin's was the standout display of the night as he picked up where he left off in 2014, during which he recorded six of the seven fastest 100m times of the year. His time was the fastest since Jamaica's Yohan Blake ran 9.69 in August 2012. His time of 9.74 has only been bettered by fellow American Tyson Gay, Jamaica's Asafa Powell and his compatriots Blake and Usain Bolt - whose world record 9.58 came in Berlin in August 2009. It was way too good for his rivals on Friday, with the American finishing well ahead of US relay team-mate Michael Rodgers, who was second in 9.96, and third-placed Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago. Britain's Shara Proctor only managed second place in the long jump - but equalled the British long jump record of 6.95m in the process. Last year's 200m Diamond Race winner, American Allyson Felix , made the perfect start to her title defence with a dominant showing, winning in a world lead and Diamond League record-equalling time of 21.98, beating, amongst others, Britain's Bianca Williams, who was sixth. Another American, Jasmin Stowers , set a new world lead and Diamond League record time of 12.35 to improve on her personal best for the third time in 2015 and dominate a strong women's 100m hurdles race. Britain's Tiffany Porter took third, ahead of Australia's reigning Olympic champion Sally Pearson (fourth) and 2014 Diamond Race winner Dawn Harper-Nelson (eighth). Brit Jack Green's time of 49.31 was enough to give him fourth in a men's 400m hurdles race won by American Bershawn Jackson in 48.09. Ireland's Thomas Barr was third. In total, there were 10 world lead performances on Friday, which also included American Tianna Bartoletta's 6.99m to win the women's long jump, Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo's 18.06m in the men's triple jump and a time of 1:43.78 by Djiboutian Ayanleh Souleiman to win a strongly-contested men's 800m.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

IAAF will NOT appeal Tyson Gay’s one-year doping ban

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will not appeal the one-year ban handed down to Tyson Gay for doping which has put the United States’s second-place finish in the 4x100 metres relay at the 2012 London Olympics in jeopardy. Gay, the world’s joint second fastest man, was banned for one year following a 2013 positive test for an anabolic steroid and stripped of all results from July 2012. The 31-year-old was banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) subject to appeal by the IAAF or the World Anti-Doping Agency. “After careful review of the full file provided by USADA, the IAAF has decided that the one-year sanction applied in the case of Tyson Gay was appropriate under the circumstances and in accordance with IAAF Rules,” it said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday. “Consequently, the IAAF decided not to exercise its right of appeal. The IAAF will not make further comments on the content and merits of the assistance provided by the athlete.” The IAAF has published the sanction and sent it to the IOC in order for them to follow-up with the Olympic Games result and medals. Although IAAF rules state that all relay members lose their medals from a competition if there is a doping violation, the IOC has control of the medals for the Olympics and it has not always taken medals from all relay members. Gay has already returned his silver medal to the United States Olympic Committee, but still to be determined is whether his team mates – Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey – as well as Jeff Demps and Doc Patton, who ran in the preliminary rounds, will lose their medals. If the United States is disqualified, third-placed Trinidad and Tobago would be eligible to gain the silver medal, and fourth-place finisher France could receive the bronze. Jamaica won gold. The USADA had earlier said Gay could have been suspended for two years for his first doping offence but received a shorter ban because of his substantial assistance towards the investigation. Gay’s ban expired on June 23, and he is expected to return to action when he meets Gatlin over 100 metres at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on July 3. source theglobeandmail

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chijindu Ujah clocks 9.96 seconds in the Netherlands

Three months after turning 20 the British sprinter Chijindu Ujah turned plenty of heads in the athletics world on Sunday evening by running 9.96sec for the 100 metres at the BFK Games in the Netherlands. He becomes only the fifth Briton to break the 10-second barrier and leaps to third on the all-time list behind the Olympic and world champion Linford Christie, who has run 9.87sec, and James Dasaolu, who last year ran 9.91. “I’m still in shock,” admitted Ujah. “It hasn’t sunk in. But I did have a feeling this was coming. My group has been training well and we are all on form. I knew what type of shape I was in when I ran 10.17sec in Loughborough three weeks ago.” Ujah might have felt it was coming but few others predicted such a stunning breakthrough from the European junior champion. From fighting for a place on 4x100m relay squads, Ujah is now a genuine contender for individual spots – and perhaps even individual medals, especially at the European Championships in Zurich in August. Three months after turning 20 the British sprinter Chijindu Ujah turned plenty of heads in the athletics world on Sunday evening by running 9.96sec for the 100 metres at the BFK Games in the Netherlands. He becomes only the fifth Briton to break the 10-second barrier and leaps to third on the all-time list behind the Olympic and world champion Linford Christie, who has run 9.87sec, and James Dasaolu, who last year ran 9.91. “I’m still in shock,” admitted Ujah. “It hasn’t sunk in. But I did have a feeling this was coming. My group has been training well and we are all on form. I knew what type of shape I was in when I ran 10.17sec in Loughborough three weeks ago.” Ujah might have felt it was coming but few others predicted such a stunning breakthrough from the European junior champion. From fighting for a place on 4x100m relay squads, Ujah is now a genuine contender for individual spots – and perhaps even individual medals, especially at the European Championships in Zurich in August. His time, which was assisted by a legal +1.4m/s wind, not only shattered his personal best of 10.17 but broke the British Under-23 record. For good measure it is also the fastest ever time by a European Under-20 athlete. But, surprisingly, it did not win him the race: Ujah finished second behind the Olympic 100m silver medallist in Beijing, Richard ’Torpedo’ Thompson, who pipped him in 9.95sec. Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey was a fast-finishing fifth in 10.08sec, equalling his personal best, with James Ellington eighth in 10.19 sec. “I knew Richard Thompson was in form and for me to make him dip I knew that we must have gone fast,” said Ujah. “Before the start I knew there was good conditions much more cooler than it was for my heats, and I thought anything is possible here.” Ujah was denied victory but his reputation, which was already bubbling under, has been dramatically uncorked. He is now ranked fifth in the world this year in the 100m behind only the American Justin Gatlin, who has run 9.87sec, the Jamaican Kemarley Brown, the Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut and Thompson. Afterwards Ujah was congratulated by colleagues, with Adam Gemili tweeting: “Massive respect bro, everyone who knows you knew this was coming. Beast!” and Dasaolu, a man of few words even at his most loquacious, told him “Great work.” Ujah had hinted at his talent when finishing fourth in the 60m at February’s British Indoor Championships behind Dasaolu, Dwain Chambers and world 60m indoor champion Richard Kilty. But the sprinter, who is coached by Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo at the Lee Valley training centre in London, has kicked on significantly since. The British 4x100m relay squad looks even stronger now. Meanwhile there were other decent performances from British athletes in Hengelo. Laura Muir ran a 1500m personal best of 4:02.91 in her first race of the season while European 800m champion Lynsey Sharp left an injury-wrecked 2013 season behind her as she ran a personal best of 2:00.09 His time, which was assisted by a legal +1.4m/s wind, not only shattered his personal best of 10.17 but broke the British Under-23 record. For good measure it is also the fastest ever time by a European Under-20 athlete. But, surprisingly, it did not win him the race: Ujah finished second behind the Olympic 100m silver medallist in Beijing, Richard ’Torpedo’ Thompson, who pipped him in 9.95sec. Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey was a fast-finishing fifth in 10.08sec, equalling his personal best, with James Ellington eighth in 10.19 sec. “I knew Richard Thompson was in form and for me to make him dip I knew that we must have gone fast,” said Ujah. “Before the start I knew there was good conditions much more cooler than it was for my heats, and I thought anything is possible here.” Ujah was denied victory but his reputation, which was already bubbling under, has been dramatically uncorked. He is now ranked fifth in the world this year in the 100m behind only the American Justin Gatlin, who has run 9.87sec, the Jamaican Kemarley Brown, the Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut and Thompson. Afterwards Ujah was congratulated by colleagues, with Adam Gemili tweeting: “Massive respect bro, everyone who knows you knew this was coming. Beast!” and Dasaolu, a man of few words even at his most loquacious, told him “Great work.” Ujah had hinted at his talent when finishing fourth in the 60m at February’s British Indoor Championships behind Dasaolu, Dwain Chambers and world 60m indoor champion Richard Kilty. But the sprinter, who is coached by Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo at the Lee Valley training centre in London, has kicked on significantly since. The British 4x100m relay squad looks even stronger now. Meanwhile there were other decent performances from British athletes in Hengelo. Laura Muir ran a 1500m personal best of 4:02.91 in her first race of the season while European 800m champion Lynsey Sharp left an injury-wrecked 2013 season behind her as she ran a personal best of 2:00.09