THE KING & QUEEN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE USA.

Jamaica suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon. Bolt lost the M100m at the #LondonWorldChampionships2017.  It was the anti-climax to the biggest farewell party, over 2 years in the planning, for an athlete that has single handed mesmerized the world with human speed.

The social ripples were far reaching. The economic even worse. Downing strong cues of #Wray&NephewAppletonRum, the nation tried to recover turning their attention to their new sprint queen #ElaineThompson who for sure would save face and restore the shine of the sprint power on the right feet. The King suffered a major set back on the left. We have a Queen. No worries. The name of honour is more important than death.

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Men’s 100m final at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images)

Sunday, August 6. Jamaica’s Independence Day, 55 years old. Jamaica suffered another cardiac arrest. Elaine Thompson fizzled in the W100m final and came 5th, not even earning a medal.  The silence across the nation was deafening. I stood in Montego Bay and felt the silence as far as Kingston.  Exactly 9 years after the coronation of the nation in Beijing as the #sprintfactory,  the King and Queen was now dead. And technically, so did the Jamaican track and field program.

What happened?.

in 2008 after years of US dominance, the atmosphere putrid by swirls of drug incensed clouds in the US camp, Jamaica tipped the balance of power in their favour, led by #Bolt The King, and his cadre of team members and #Shelly-Ann Fraser, the newly crowned queen of track and field. The politics of power in athletics is like the global political game of present players, the US and the others. The US commands enormous political power in athletics. Amidst accusations of nefarious circumstances, their athletes are usually given the benefit of the doubt by their governing US body. And even if found guilty of using substances, deals are broken with the convicted, names are shamed, persons outed, suspensions reduced and voila, the athlete is back on the circuit in lesser time than other athletes of other countries that usually suffer stiffer penalties, including life bans.

Such was the case of the man who beat Bolt at the Championships, #JustinGatlin. His story is chronicled and followers of track and field have openly expressed their displeasure with him, including Bolt. So it was not at all surprising when the stadium. full of some 50,000 persons booed when he was declared the winner of the race. Why HIM? Anyone else would be easier to swallow, but not HIM!

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Justin Gatlin of the USA reacts after winning the men’s 100m final at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, Britain, 05 August 2017. (Getty Images)

Fresh wounds were open. The cheat won. The bastard of Athletics beats the boy wonder. A Russian journalist intimated in her question later at the presser with Bolt and Gatlin and Bolt surprisingly defended Gatlin. If you were watching this warm and fuzzy BBF moment between the two, you would have wondered when since these two were such close buddies?

In the geopolitical arena, Russia is no friend of the US. In the politics of athletics, the US is no friend of Jamaica. Can we say nice things to each other? Yes, we can. But Bolt was attempting to cross that sensitive line and incorrectly thought the journalist was casting doubt on his performances. Bolt should have known better. Each man should have spoken for himself when that ugly topic was raised. Gatlin basked in Bolt’s answer clearly happy that he didn’t have to relive and retry that case of his drug conviction and suspension.

Bolt did not do himself any favours then as he didn’t do any earlier on the track. For the first time in his long and storied career, Bolt was embarrassed. Genuinely embarrassed. His personal motto is ‘Anything is possible. I don’t think limits“. As a pro, he knows that possibilities are erased to certainty when hard work is put in the mix.

Bolt did not put in the hard work and it showed. Hard work was not mixed with need. Bolt did not ‘need’ this anymore. His lust for athletics died in Rio and through agonising pressure, he went on his final preparation but it was without energy, drive or feelings. His friend died as well, not having heard about it but was physically there when it happened. Bolt was mentally out of it. Bolt was not hungry but the champion that he is, performing with confidence is not his weakness. And so he appeared in London with his panache,  knowing he had no clothes.

Bolt was half the man he was in 2008. Quarter the man he was in 2012 and not himself in 2017. #ElaineThompson, however, is still a shocker. Only she knows the answers and we hope her coach and her will have a come to Jesus moment in the next few days. Her sponsors certainly will. Losing is one thing for the country. It’s a totally different thing for a sponsor. Like any job, athletics has its stresses.

Athletics is a business. Period.

Athletes are paid to run and to be successful.  Elaine lost thousands of dollars for her unexpected loss. Her coach will certainly have an answer but you can expect sponsors will be watching Frano’s camp closely as well as the Mills camp. Money goes where champions are bred.

Behind the glamour and spectacle lies a business and at this #WorldChampionships Jamaica has damaged itself. By not meeting their own standards The US has gladly taken the reigns once again and can now hang their banner reading  “Sprint King & Queen”. The King is dead.  There is no one to replace him. The Queen is dead. There is no one to replace her.Like a falling star, Jamaica tumbles into the abyss once again waiting for young talent to emerge.  The effects will be devastating but nothing we can’t handle.

Soon, athletes will have to make hard decisions. Coaches too.  The Governing body has to do a post mortem. and rid itself of the politics that strangles common sense decision making. Jamaica Athletics has been sitting on its lofty post for 9 years unaware that the World was coming after them.  The US never stopped hating. Now we have South Africa, Botswana. Kenya. Bahamas. China and even Japan knocking at the gates. We cannot afford to mismanage this opportunity. Our economy is too fragile for carelessness.

This industry is too new for bad management and too fragile for mediocrity. Whenever our athletes put their feet on the world stage it has to be perfect. No errors. No excuses.

Bolt was asked at the presser what was it he is looking forward to when this is over. He replied, “..for me, it is just to live normal. To have no training. To do whatever I want. To travel whenever I want. I don’t know where my career will go or what I will do but I look forward to it and the person that I am I will do it at my best.”

He was confident when he said those words.

If only Jamaica’s athletics was as confident to say otherwise.

© 2017. Kwesi. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

WHAT KILLS A SKUNK? 


I have tried to refrain from commenting on the salacious news flying like a meteorite on social network regarding The Big Man in Rio , not on his latest accomplishments mind you, rather his bedroom and party antics on his birthday. 

A social liberal like myself found it personally disgusting to even read what I call this social gossip as it was, and still is, no concern of mine. But looking at the entire picture, especially as it seems the story is still taking flames, I had to give the Big Man my 1 cent worth of advise as this brain of mine keep seeing visions of history repeating itself. 

A wise man, Abraham Lincoln said this on publicity…..“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself“. I am going to speak as clearly as possible to Usain and for those who are also consciously or unconsciously living in a similar spotlight. 

Usain, by your own words you have always maintained you have one goal to accomplish and that was to prove to yourself that you are the greatest in the sport of track and field. Many people will not remember and neither many will forget, when you , a youth champion, was placed in the jaw bone of competition in 2004 at the age of 18, Athens Greece and you placed a disappointing last, not even making it to the second round. We commiserated with you and with faith looked ahead to the next Olympics. It was there that the world began to pay attention. 

Your success skyrocketed to enormous fame and with fame comes wealth. Rio was the stage the world was waiting to see a God amongst men manifested and It was at that point you single handedly became a living legend in the eyes of your county men and the world. 

No one has ever made being successful so achievable than you and immediately the hashtag of #BeingLikeBolt was the only motivating theme for every athlete of all genre in Jamaica. You became a national treasure.

With fame comes enormous responsibility and Usain as we say in Jamaica the horse gone through the gate , brother you have no choice in this. You are who you are. Usain , know this buddy. For every birthday a man celebrates , it is not to only drink and party all night with wild abandonment, it is also for him to celebrate the REASON he was born and WHY he was born. 

At 30 you know the reason and you know the why. So Usain, guess what, you are different. You are not like the common man and the faster you realize that what you do is now everybody’s motivation , the quicker you will realize why this latest social media hype can be a cost in the long run that you will regret. 

You are young and a wealthy man but don’t ever think that the hand that put you on a pedestal cannot break you down. How many times have we seen this happen to athletes like yourself? You are 30 years wiser. Use it. Enjoy yourself to the max, but do not give more than what you want them to see. Be careful of how you use that light that shines on you every second of the day. 

With every thing comes a price and guess what buddy, being a legend has its price. If you are not prepared to pay it, then watch your legacy fade away. Usain don’t listen to the so called “blood brothers ” who will jump and shout ” mek them gwan and mine dem bloodc**t business”. Guess what , they did not create your legacy and they have not nor will they walk the path you took to create your legacy.

You want to see your blood brothers fly? Look around for them when you really need their support. It never fails Usain, friends are like flies. They are always there when the food is plenty. When food done, friends done. 

Do not compromise your legacy Usain. If you keep searching for Adventure, it is ridiculously easy to find but weigh the cost Usain, as you will have to pay for the ride.. Do not get over exposed. Stay humble even when you are partying. You are not like any other man. Know that , accept that and live your life accordingly. 

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.  John Wooden

(C) 2016. Kwesi.  All Rights Reserved. 

JAMAICA WILL NEVER BE A USA

Jamaica-Flag-Wallpaper

I recently read an article that Jamaica’s economic woes are tied to the “culture” of the people. Let me quote the writer:

.”it does not matter which political party is in power, our success will have dismal limitations. It does not matter how many loans we can access from the International Monetary Fund and multilateral institutions, it will just be for the purpose of feeding our insatiable appetite of instant gratification. It does not matter how many graduates we turn out from our universities, because the economy, in its limping impotence, will not be able to marshal a workforce to absorb them. Culture matters and it is a definitive difference between countries that are prosperous and countries that are not.”

With comparison to the USA the writer was drawing attention  that the difference in culture between the two countries was directly related to their individual success. Let me first agree with something the writer has alluded to and that is one has to develop a culture of success, aggressive leadership, and strong fortitude to achieve success. But where the writer is incorrect in their analogy is  aaligning the lack of success to a seemingly lackadaisical cultural lifestyle, a lifestyle stereotypically Jamaican. 

Every human wants to succeed, There is no human that calls himself a human that does not have that ingrained in his DNA. Which human , with all senses intact, will tell you he is a failure? Who will tell you he is bad at what he does? I have not met that human as yet. Jamaica’s economic problem is among other things , directly pinned to a lack of leadership, clarity of vision and the natural instinct of Jamaicans to think that anything foreign is better than what they have. It is  inextricably pinned to the lack of quality education denied to the masses of the people for various reasons. It is troubling but it is no different from the USA, the difference is Jamaica is smaller so the problem is heightened.

A country the size of Jamaica has a “brain drain” problem and ever since the big departure in the early 80s it has been the cancer that eats at Jamaica’s economic recovery.  Then Prime Minister Manley invited Jamaicans to leave on flights to Miami and they granted his wish. That educated culture  left the country to develop the USA and other countries.

Education breeds an informed and a more refined culture. Culture is not a singular lifestyle unto itself. It is the daughter of a refined and educated mind. If you were to agree totally with the writer then how do you explain the success of our  athletes in the international arena? How do you explain the many other success achieved by Jamaicans in every discipline of life both here and abroad?  I disagree with the writer. Jamaica’s culture is as strong as the US and they want the dream, not necessarily the American dream, but a dream of a quality of life that they can enjoy in Jamaica. No Jamaican living abroad and I mean none, do not aspire and want to come back home to live their last years in  Jamaica. 

Our woes are big and seems to be in the forefront as Jamaica enjoys a high-profile, ironically because of  its culture, yes the same culture that everyone,  including the US , is trying to emulate. We cannot hold the country responsible for  who the people are? Jamaica is who it is. It will never be a US, but it can enjoy the quality of life similar to the US. Jamaicans are not driven by the same morals or ideals as Americans , but they share the word that is sweet on the lips of those that experience it – and that is SUCCESS. Jamaica’s wish to succeed is far greater than fear itself. The writer obviously has limited knowledge that the freedom of fear is also a part of our culture. Success is not final. It is a living thing that keeps on going as long as the believer holds on to his dreams and move towards it .  

An educated culture breeds success but to blame our “culture” solely for the inefficiency and backwardness of the economy is like saying the US immigration is responsible for its crime. No one should be so short-sighted.

Paul Tomlinson © 2014

Here is the letter in its entirety. Feel free to leave your comments.

USA and JA — a difference in culture

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dear Editor,

If it were in Jamaica that President Barack Obama was running for a second term, say, as prime minister, he would not have been voted back into office, given the slow pace of the economic recovery he has presided over for the past four years. Although he did not create the dismal economic problems in the first place, he would’ve been soundly defeated at the polls for the sheer reason that our culture is one of instant gratification. We want it here; we want it all and we want it now.

For those who reject the idea that culture has a lot to do with economic prosperity, this is a lesson we should not neglect to learn, and a revelation to purposefully observe. Let me quote my favourite Jamaican journalist, Ian Boyne here: “I am one of those who believe that economic development cannot be divorced from culture; or at least that culture either advances or hinders economic development. I have no doubt that some of our cultural proclivities are inimical to economic development; so no matter which party is in power, we continue to stagnate. It’s not just our corruption. Other countries experiencing corruption grow (China, India and Russia are prime examples).”

Despite 20 million Americans still without jobs today, and although Mitt Romney touts a relatively excellent résumé in business, Americans took the long view, and invested their vote in steady progress, not instant and ephemeral results. They rewarded the president for making significant incremental progress, however slow the pace. What is the difference? Culture. Americans think in terms of what is best for their children and grandchildren. They will give up today’s cash for tomorrow’s certain post-dated cheque. The American culture emphasises wealth creation and long-term rewards, and as a result, their politicians are forced to think long-term rather than in election cycles. Jamaica, please take note: politicians will lift their game when their constituents lift the standard of their expectations and demand the available best.

It is my considered opinion that our best leaders have not yet emerged at the podium of national leadership and the reason is because our culture does not accommodate or embrace what they have to offer to this dying country. They are instead forced to dangle on the under-achievement line of mediocrity or migrate to cultures where the work ethic and durable success are far superior to ours. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a prosperous country is that the future takes precedence over the here and now. The American dream, for example, is not about pursuing a loaf of bread for today’s hunger, it is the pursuit of owning the bakery. Owning the bakery requires strategic planning, goal setting, sacrifices, smart work, delayed gratification, and discipline.

Therefore, it does not matter which political party is in power, our success will have dismal limitations. It does not matter how many loans we can access from the International Monetary Fund and multilateral institutions, it will just be for the purpose of feeding our insatiable appetite of instant gratification. It does not matter how many graduates we turn out from our universities, because the economy, in its limping impotence, will not be able to marshal a workforce to absorb them. Culture matters and it is a definitive difference between countries that are prosperous and countries that are not.

Laval Wilkinson

Is Bolt a Legend?

The London 2012  games are officially over. Its been 17 days and the world has been drawn to athletics. 17 days when those who are highly favored got the  chance to actually see the games in person and for those who were not so fortunate sat glued to their television sets , myself included . For 17 days we did not move except to take a shower and do the obligatory thing of eating something before we sit and  die before the TV.

The Olympics brings one thing to the viewer- a spectacle of human strength. We sit in awe and watch fellow humans stretch the limits of human boundaries to accomplish feats the the average Joe Blow can only dream of doing. The furthest he will go is pressing the button on the remote. Thats his version of human accomplishment. We sit in awe and we cheer our hearts out when the athletes go higher, faster and stronger than their competitors. We are in love with the TV and with our human self.

Growing up we always heard our parents speak of great stories of human accomplishment. A a Jamaican I never knew who Jessie Owens was but my parents told me what he did in the face of adversity. The story they told me fascinated me at a young age and they spoke of this man having paved the way for black athletes to compete. I was also told of Herb McKinley and Arthur Wint the 2 Jamaican athletes who themselves went to London and did the impossible. From a small island they won the 100 yards and 440 yards at the time. Those were fascinating stories for a young man at the time. Growing up Donald Quarrie, another sporting personality set his mark by wining the 200m in the Olympics the only athlete from Jamaica them to do so. These men from an early age inspired me to take up track and developed a love for it to this day . the stories were inspiring, uplifting and proved that it was possible to accomplish the impossible. They were our local legends that every young man wanted to be like.

We grow up in many places, in our homes , our churches, our extended families and in our schools and in every sector of the society we come across some legendary feats that remain with you forever. In my college years the stories were too vast and too many legends were born out of my College years. My headmaster affectionately called Jango, his vice principal who we were all in awe with his flawless circle drawn by hand in our maths class. Mr Dibbs is a legend. Not to mention the beating our school managed to give other schools in teack and filed and football. Those days were legendary. They actually happened and we can tell our children  of those feats.

Jump to 2012 and there are questions and debates on  Usain Bolt. Is he a legend? That question is like asking if the sun shines in jamaica? People like to complicate simple things. We tend to forget everything that ever happened in the past . To document Usain Bolt’s life is like rewriting history. That is already documented and can be read by anyone who chooses to do so. But the question of him being a legend simple stops me in my track.

Bolt appeared on the scene from he was 17 years old and very few people took notice. Not until 2008 when the world saw this tall athlete smashed the world records in all sprint disciplines and took notice. 4 years later amidst lots of adversity he came back to the world’s largest stage and repeated the feat he set 4 years earlier. He ended with a world record.

Bolt was the first man to do 9.5 in 100m sprinting, a feat most people thought impossible. He went further and set a new 200m mark stunning everyone who witnessed it. He then anchored his team in the 4x100m relay to a world record. 80,000 people stood in awe to watch this man run. The entire world stopped and watch him race. He is the only man in jamaica that stopped production for 10 seconds. He single handedly took on the powerful USA and turned their track programme to dust. He was so fast that no one on the planet could beat him when he puts his mind to it. And he proved it twice. Yes son Bolt did these things in 2008 and 2012 and he had the world as his oyster and the world had him as their fantasy. Thankfully he is alive. Go on line and see his races.

That was me talking to my son telling him of the legendary tales of Usain Bolt.  He inspired me then and he inspired my son now. His stories actually happened. so the question being asked is quite simply dumb founded and one cannot help but think that he is a victim of his own fame. A man does not have to die to be a legend. There are many persons writing their legacy now and who are already legends. Barack Obama, Portia Simpson, Nelson Mandela, Tiger Woods to name a few. They are legends thankfully living inspiring others to take their lead.

People are talking now about Bolt both his enemies and his friends. The unfortunate thing is words of thanks from his fellow men  may not be a free giving as it should be. He has given himself to humanity and there are those who still question him. That is the sign of true greatness and human weakness. Bolt name is written in the pages of the history books as the first of all men to do the impossible. His name will go down in history as being the tallest fastest man in his time and from the look of things it could be a while before another legend comes of age. One thing is certain, BOLT IS A LEGEND. We hope we see many more of him to satisfy our lust for greatness. Greatness is starting something that lives after you. Bolt has started a revolution in track and field that will outlast him. Frankly  it does not seem it will be rewritten for a long , long time. Ask yourself this question, will you be talking about him now or anytime soon? If the answer is yes then he is already a legend, you just don’t want to admit it!

All this broo Ha Ha about drugs

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.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

 

1460 days ago the 30th Olympiad was awarded to London , the city that represents European power. The city that once ruled the world, The sun never sets on the British Empire. Its ironic that one of her former colony is celebrating 50 years of independence from her. Jamaica going back to the place that had her captive for many years on the biggest stage bears a sense of revenge. If London 2012 is anywhere near Beijing then we can say we have finally given our response to years of oppression.

London represents many things to many people but hosting the Olympics is more symbolic especially for the Caribbean islands that have said good bye to her. It is important that when we celebrate we must also remember that we must celebrate not only Jamaica but for the Caribbean. Today, Jamaica like like the rest of the Caribbean will show London and the World who we are. We , like the rest of the Caribbean, will show London that their little daughter has grown up and can compete on any stage without their help or direction. Today Jamaica will look into their hearts and find the Olympic flame, that flame that represents the hopes of a nation, that represents a nation at 50 striving to show the World and London that it has not been easy but we are proud, strong, and we are determined to be who we can be and that is being Jamaican and by extension a powerful Caribbean nation.

And so let the games begin. For the next 2 weeks the world will focus on London, focus on competition, focus on unity, focus on the ideal that we are all but one people, under God, whoever it is we pray to. Let the games begin the outpouring of inspiration, motivation, hope, triumph and yes even failure. Failure is not doing your best. Rather it shows who you are and all that you stand for – and that is excellence. London has called the World to its city but this time not as an aggressor but as host to the biggest table of human emotions , the games of the XXX Olympiad.

 

2 DAYS TO GO AND 9 OUT OF OLYMPICS

With only 2 days to go 9 athletes have tested positive for doping violations and have been sent home. 9 athletes gone and the games have not started officially as yet. Events the size of the games  will always have problems associated with it and London 2012 is not special as it has a few problems to deal with on a day to day basis- the olympic lane and the taxi cabs, the right to protest from protestors who are silenced by the police , the weather and we know how the Brits can be sarcastic with all the fuss in their city for the next 2 weeks. Yes there are and will be daily problems to deal with. But the much ballyhooed WADA did not expect to deal with its problems so early.

The 2012 Olympics has been touted to have the best anti doping testing ever in the history of the games. I witnessed a recent documentary of the anti- doping state of the art facilities for London and even I was impressed. It gave me the shivers just looking at the procedures. So why would an athlete even consider taking drugs and think that they would not be caught?   Why take the risk? There are a lot of answers and frankly we will never know the real reason. There will be the usual “I  did not know” or “I did not willingly take any drugs”  excuses but the fact is you were caught.

The problem is not all athletes will undergo this testing. Athletes in what is called the high risk sports will definitely undergo the testing. That means OUR ATHLETES, all of them will be going through not one but probably a test a day in London. We can hardly forget Usain Bolt’s statement that he and his fellow team mates underwent so many testing in Beijing they could not find their main artery after all the blood test done.  This is what makes the system a double standard.

If WADA is to be fair   and by extension the London Olympic committee and the IOC then surely to combat this drug problem plaguing the sport every athlete professional and amateur  should be required to have a biological passport that will be used for tests and guarantees against drugs .An athlete biological passport is an individual, electronic record for professional athletes, in which profiles of biological markers of doping and results of doping tests are collated over a period of time. Doping violations can be detected by noting variances from an athlete’s established levels outside permissible limits, rather than testing for and identifying illegal substances. Similar to a persons travel passport this bio passport will be used as one of the major determinant of the athletes history.And everyone should be checked and cleared BEFORE , DURING the AFTER the games.

Will it be more intensive, yes. Will it require more resources , probably. But the end justifies the means and save from all the scandal and embarrasment it would level the playing field and prevent someone from thinking they can beat the system.

The games of London is poised with all sorts of possibilities. It could top Beijing in terms of quality of performances. It could be the breakout games for a lot of top athletes and new ones too. It could see more world records broken.  All this is based on COULD. But if this news is any indication of what the London games is metamorphing to be then we had better brace ourselves. We could be in for a bumpy and drugy ride.