As South Africa’s most obnoxious voice in the anti-doping movement I am sure many will be wondering if I will place my belief system ahead of patriotism in light of the stupendous exploits of one Wayde van Niekerk.
I can’t help but have enjoyed watching the men’s 400m final – let’s face it seeing mind blowing performances like that – regardless of one’s stance on anti-doping – can still be an exhilarating experience. But, and its a big but, we’re being asked to believe in the tooth fairy here. There are two questions to be asked – one, was his performance on the level? And if not, does it matter?
On the first score – you do worry about a sport where one of the elder-statesman comes up with a peach of a statement like this:
“We have to make sure that our sport is clean or at least make the public think our sport is clean” Carl Lewis
And beyond all of the vested interests & presstitutes on the BBC that is essentially what the role of WADA & ‘statement by IAAF President Seb ‘How’d he get toxoplasmosis in 1983’ Coe’ are – TO MAKE THE PUBLIC THINK THEY ARE A CLEAN SPORT. Don’t for one second delude yourself into thinking anyone in a position of power or influence gives a flying fuck about anti-doping, clean sport or athlete welfare. That is merely a lie – nothing more. A lie that allows the IAAF, the IOC & sport in general to continue to put on an ever superior product whilst taking the moral high ground and only suffering the collateral damage of the odd, replaceable, meaningless bust – just to keep up appearances.
Of course it is POSSIBLE that Wayde is clean – its also possible that I am going to spontaneously combust in the next 10 minutes but both alas are very, very unlikely. How unlikely? Well at age 20 he could ran once around a track in 46.43s & at age 24 he can do it in 43.03s – faster than any man ever measured. That’s 3.4s or 7.32% or around 30 metres. Barely looked out of breath either but I digress. A 7.32% improvement is the equivalent of a 20 year old man running the 100m in 10.4 seconds but dropping to 9.64 seconds at age 24. Now 10.4 seconds is a very decent time for a clean 20 year old but a lot of guys can do that & sure a few 24 year olds have made that sort of improvement – they’re (loosely) the known dopers Asafa Powell & Yohan Blake.
It doesn’t help Van Niekerk’s ‘what me’ claims any that the only WADA accredited lab on the entire African continent lost its WADA accreditation in May:
“WADA has suspended the accreditation of the South African Doping Control Laboratory (Laboratory) in Bloemfontein until 30 September 2016.
The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples.”
Or you can chose to believe LaShawn Merritt who said after 3 men broke 44 seconds in one race for the first time in Olympic History:
“It’s just a great era for the 400.”
I hasten to add his perspective might have more credibility had he not served a 21 month ban for anabolic steroid use in 2010 – after which he has come back & miraculously ‘without’ the steroids only run faster. Makes you wonder why he needed them in the first place.