Interesting piece in the Brooklyn Eagle looks at Olympians from New York. Sadam Ali, a USA boxer was actually suspended for a time due to a doping infraction. However, it appears he cleared the charges in appeal.
“It’s just great to represent New York,” said Ali, who spent some time beating .the bags at Gleason’s Gym in Downtown Brooklyn before departing for tonight’s opening ceremonies in Beijing, China...
And to think, this dream almost didn’t come true for Ali, whose path to the games was clouded by a doping controversy last year.
The two-time National Golden Gloves champion tested positive for the banned substance cathine, which is typically found in many cold medicines, following a second-round qualifying tournament loss in Chicago last fall.
After being put on indefinite suspension in November, Ali continued to vehemently deny the offense and was vindicated in February, when the International Boxing Association ruled that he had accidentally received the drug during a doctor’s visit for a cold he contracted in —- of all places — China.
Thanks to the doctor’s admission that he had made a mistake by giving Ali up to six different cold medicines, the former under-19 national champion returned to the business of getting ready for the beginning of what he hopes will be a storied career in the square circle.
Another Brooklyn nature discussed a brush with steroids, only his were therapeutic. Fencer Keeth Smart took cortisol steroids (we presume) for a 'blood ailment'. He is over in Beijing, having cleared the doping tests.
Also representing Brooklyn at this year’s Olympics will be former world No. 1 fencer Keeth Smart, who came within a point of bringing home gold in two events during the 2004 Athens Games.
Now entering his third Olympics, the 30-year-old Smart, who will be joined by his sister, Erinn, on the U.S. team, hopes to use his previous international experiences to capture his first championship and shake off a pair of gut-wrenching results from four years earlier.
“After Athens, I fell into a depression,” Smart admitted. “Maybe not clinically diagnosed, but it was such a heartbreaker to lose two opportunities for a medal, back-to-back.”
Smart lost his father to a heart attack in 2005 and his mother passed away from cancer this past May. He was diagnosed with a rare blood disease four months ago, making his journey to Beijing seem all the more improbable.
But Smart received a steroid-based treatment for his ailment and stayed away from competition until the substances left his body.
After passing six straight doping tests, Smart is ready to get his gold medal in memory of those who supported his lifelong quest.