The 2012 London games ended on a spectacular high designed with great planning and dexterity. The London organizers planned the last day with 2 aims in minds- firstly continue the momentum of audience attendance from day 1 and 2 reap the profits on the possible clash of the 2 giants in sprints the USA and Jamaica with the added attraction of Usain Bolt. It all translates to maximizing the profits.
Make no mistake, the organizers knew that their big ticket draw was Usain Bolt. It was evident and their assumption worked. From day one the 80,000 seat stadium was packed, one of the first in Olympic history. They also changed the start of the mens 100m, from day 1 to day 2. Meticulous planning was done and from all indications they made a profit from the track and field programme. There were no controversial empty seats. All seats were taken unlike the aquatic center where they were giving away seats to fill that arena. So much for who the real star of the games were. But regardless of who the star was the finger pointing was only directed to one team only- Bolt and his Jamaican compatriots. Ex track star Carl Lewis headed the barrage of accusations of possible performance enhancing drugs. This is from an athlete who himself tested positive 3 times for drugs and was covered up by the USOC. So much for his impartiality.
The USA ladies team had a terrific performance on the penultimate day of the games by establishing a world record in the 4x100m lowering the mark to an astounding 40.82 seconds. A great run one would say especially when you have one of the athletes implicated with a drug baron of athletics. No word, no alarm was made. Everyone turned their eyes the other way pretending that it is not happening and whatever the connection it is only a clean relationship.
Similarly Michael Phelps , the swimming sensation of the games walked away with 19 medals. That is no big news especially in swimming as athletes can enter up to 6, 7 or 8 races and can possibly win them all as is the case of Michael Phelps. But again no word from the powers that be about any possibility of drugs on Phelps part or his team members. No outright accusations made by Lewis, none from Dick Pound. The Bahamas did the unthinkable – they beat the USA in the mens 4 x 400m relay, an event they have won for the past 20 years. That was the beginning of the falling out of grace for the Caribbean Islands. Before this they had to deal with the USA loss of the blue ribbon events of the games – the Women and Mens 100m and the 200m. Things were not going as planned. Now on the final day the USA lost the A list of events – the 4 x 100m relay Mens to a world setting record by Usain Bolt and his team members. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and so the hounds came out barking.
Dick Pound, the Ex head of the WADA was the first semi official person to come out and cast aspersions on the Jamaican team. Complaint number 1 – WADA cannot get access to the Jamaican athletes in their own country. Hogwash. The Jamaican athletes are all star athletes. Everyone knows where they train and can find them in Jamaica or when they travel. WADA has unrestricted access to these athletes and failure to comply for a test can result in suspension. Mr Pound is milking a cow.
Complaint number 2. Jamaica does not have random drug test. Well does the USAAA do random drug testing and if they do are all athletes free from drugs? These AAA all suffer from the same thing – complacency and nepotism. These organizations are no better than the other so if you complain about one you have to complain about all. Further WADA as an organization have the power to put pressure on these organizations but does it happen and most times it is who pays out the most money to keep the hounds quiet.
All sports are subject to performance enhancing drugs. Performance equals big money. The Jamaican athletes have undergone more testing than most. With the multi million lab they have in London detecting a masking drug should not be a problem and so far none has been found for Bolt or his team mates. So what is all this talk especially after the Jamaican win in the 4 x 100m today?
Pound has his reasons. Is he on the US payroll , only time will tell. What about Carl Lewis? what can possibly be his vice? His legacy is being destroyed by this new upstart. Bolt is also reaping in millions of dollars from sponsorship , something he was not able to do. There is the broader picture as well. The Caribbean’s take over from the US is troubling. The power shift means loss of money. Money shifting to the Caribbean athletes means less marketability for the US athletes. The US is still the biggest consumer market so it is important that it remains at home in the US. So the real problem is not really with Jamaica but with the Caribbean and their so called failure to implement an effective drug policy. Attacking Jamaica is only because it is more high profile.
Sports is big money business and the USA is determined to be on top of the sports world. They will do everything and employ all the necessary means to cast doubts on the successes of the athletes of the Caribbean. All the broo-ha-ha is nothing but sour grapes The US like all the other AAA are all guilty of possible performance enhancing drugs. Its just a matter of the big dog having the bigger bark. No one is moving however so bark all they want. The dog is already out of the pen.