Might is be possible that a sprinter delivers two of the fastest three 100M times in his only 5 100M races, running clean? Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt faces that controversy following his world record time over the weekend, prompting papers like the New York Times to raise the issue. Bolt ran an incredible 9.72 100M in New York, lowering the world record previously held by Asafa Powell. (Link to Bolt's WRs 100/200 at the Olympics; get some Kryptonite)
Was the supporting tailwind legal?
Was Bolt himself legal?
Track and field has become so compromised by doping that any startling performance brings immediate suspicion. Even before the race at the Reebok Grand Prix meet on Randalls Island, Bolt and his top challenger, the 2007 world champion Tyson Gay, faced inevitable questions from reporters about performance-enhancing drugs. The pre-race inquiries have become as routine as the postrace drug screens.
Who to trust? Some of the biggest marquee names in track and field now call prison home. Almost every star of the past 25 years faces questions about his/her legitimacy. Is this Bolt from the blue legitimate?
Bolt has denied taking performance-enhancing drugs and has not failed a drug test. Yet, his coach acknowledges, it will be impossible for Bolt to avoid skepticism given the sport’s clouded history. A number of Olympic champions, world champions and record holders have been stripped of their sprint medals, records and reputations, including Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Tim Montgomery and Kelli White. And now Maurice Greene, too, has come under increased scrutiny, though he faces no formal charges.
“We know questions are inevitable given the revelations in the sport,” said Glen Mills, who coaches Bolt. “But that doesn’t trouble us for two reasons. One, there is a thing called conscience. Two, Usain doesn’t even want to take vitamin C. We know he is as clean as a whistle.”
Interesting that Ben Johnson cast serous doubt on modern track records -- except his of course (Daily Mail)
The exclusive interview Big Ben granted me in his adopted Canada sent seismic shockwaves through the Olympic movement just weeks before the Beijing Games, claiming that virtually all the top athletes use drugs...
Ben Johnson: 'Whatever anyone says about me and steroids, I would never have done that, never have risked the damage that could do to your body.'...
There are echoes of Johnson's claim in these pages on Saturday that the Americans set him up in Seoul, lacing his drink with a near-lethal dose of one steroid he never used because they knew he would beat their own Carl Lewis to gold.
Few realists - never mind the cynics - will doubt that Johnson is justified in denouncing 'virtually all the top runners' as drugs cheats. Athletics, tainted as it is by those suspicions, will pray that its new 100m world record holder is as innocent as he seems.
Modern athletic records appear so tainted, that any lowering of world track marks (or raising of home run record totals) will raise eyebrows that someone is beating the dope testers. And so it goes (evidence that Bolt is a clean prodigious talent after the jump...)
The 6-foot-5 Bolt, 21, who was aided by an allowable tailwind, is undeniably a prodigious talent. As a 15-year-old, he won the world junior championship at 200 meters. He later became the first junior sprinter to break 20 seconds for the 200. He holds the Jamaican record of 19.75 seconds and finished second to Gay in the 200 at the 2007 world championships.
Wariness about Bolt stems from the fact that he has run the 100 only five times professionally, yet he has posted two of the three fastest performances ever.
If Bolt is clean — and at this point there is no evidence that he is not — he already finds himself a victim of the most corrosive aspect of pervasive doping: the innocent can no longer prove their innocence.