Track & Field

TUE Tuesdays: Lausanne Rivals Seoul for Dirtiest Race in History

Ben Johnson is normally the first name of everyone’s lips when it comes to famous drug cheats but Justin Gatlin is giving him a run for his money. ( Pun fully intended)

Last Thursday’s Lausanne Diamond League featured five athletes who have previously tested positive for banned substances. There were only 7 men in the race on the night making it a staggering percentage of 71%.

When your average person think’s of athletics, they don’t think of incredible feats of speed, endurance, power and technique. They don’t think about athletes testing the very limits of human ability.

They think about testing positive.

How can the sport attempt to gain any credibility by having so many drug cheats in the same race. The Seoul Olympics is well known as the dirtiest race in history with six of the eight runners were tainted by drugs but Lausanne is quickly becoming a safe-house for our sport’s filthiest athletes.

We attempt the compare the two races:

The Field: Seoul 1988

DQ Ben Johnson (9.79sec):

Tested positive for stanozolol at the 1988 Olympics. In 1993, he tested positive for testosterone. In 1999 he was caught again, this time for a diuretic.

1st Carl Lewis ( 9.92sec) 

Tested positive for stimulants at the 1988 US Olympic trials but was cleared of a doping offence by the US Olympic Committee.

2nd Linford Christie  (9.97sec) 

Having avoided punishment following a positive test for a stimulant in Seoul, he tested positive in 1999 for the anabolic steroid nandrolone and was banned for two years, though he has always denied any wrongdoing.

3rd-Calvin Smith( 9.99sec )
Never linked to drugs.

4th Dennis Mitchell (10:04sec)

In 1998 he tested positive for testosterone, for which he blamed ‘five bottles of beer and sex with his wife at least four times’, explaining: ‘It was her birthday, the lady deserved a treat.’ USA Track and Field accepted his explanation but the IAAF did not and banned Mitchell for two years. Mitchell also testified at the trial of his former coach, Trevor Graham, saying that Graham had injected him with human growth hormone. Mitchell is now the USA Relay’s Coach.

Good Job USATF.

5th: Robson da Silva (10.11sec)
Never linked to drugs.

6th Desai Williams (10.11sec )

Dr Jamie Astaphan who supplied Ben Johnson testified he had supplied Williams with steroids which Williams admitted to.

7th:Ray Stewart (12.26sec) (9.96sec in 1991)
Stewart  was implicated in a drugs scandal in 2008 when he was a coach in the USA. He claimed the drugs were for personal use but this was later disregarded and he was banned for life.

Learn more about the Seoul Olympic 100m  in the Documentary above.

The Field Lausanne 2015:
1: Gatlin (9.75sec)

The main man, a twice convicted drug cheat yet to admit to his wrongdoings. He might still be pedaling his excuses for these positive tests but he is certainly flying high on the track as he won the Lausanne 100m.

2 Asafa Powell (9.92sec)

The Jamaican tested positive for oxilofrine, a banned stimulant in 2013. A six month ban allowed him back to competition. The drug cheat was even scheduled to line up in Athlone earlier this year.

3 Tyson Gay (9.92sec)
The American saw his ban for anabolic steroids in 2013 reduced to one year for co-operating with authorities. Received a one-year ban after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid in 2013. He claims that a third party was to blame: “I basically put my trust in someone and was let down.”.

Happens all the time Tyson, don’t worry about it.

4 Michael Rodgers (10.03sec)
The diminutive sprinter took methylhexaneamine, a stimulant commonly found in nutritional supplements and energy drinks and was banned for 9 months.

5 Keston Bledman (10.03sec)
Bledmon has not tested positive but was coached by Lance Brauman and was a training partner of Tyson Gay during the time he was caught for Steroid Use. His countrywoman and training partner Kelly-Ann Baptsite was also caught at the time. Bledman said of her ban: “That’s my training partner. Kelly has always been there for me, I’ve been there for her.Normally, we would be practising, she would be talking to me. She is more experienced than me, but I don’t really know what’s going on with her.”

6 Kim Collins (10.08sec)
Tested positive in 2002 but it was later rescinded after the substance was found to be part of asthma medication. Is the oldest Sub 10 second 100m athlete of all time. His personal bests over 60m and 100m were both set as a 38 year old.

7 Isiah Young (10.11sec)
The 25 year old has not tested positive and has no affiliations or suspicious associations at this moment in time. That’s probably why he was last.

75% of the athletes in Seoul had a positive test or ban whereas only 71% of Lausanne had the same. The level of drug taken in Seoul (higher amounts of steroid use as opposed to stimulant) surely has to be taken into account as well.

So there you have it, Lausanne, if you want to be No 1, you’re going to have to up your game!

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Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan is an athlete, coach, athletics fan and, most importantly, was once named Bandon AFC's under-12 Player of the Year. He was once a promising athlete but is now a promising coach, teacher and part-time athletics writer/broadcaster. While an 800m runner himself, Ronan has coached everything from pole vault to 10km with varying levels of bluffing. He has regularly been threatening to do something for years but is yet to deliver. He is regarded as our expert on the American running scene, though has yet, to prove his knowledge in this realm.

1 Comment

  1. DB
    July 14, 2015 at 7:53 pm — Reply

    Isiah Young and Justin Gatlin are training partners!
    So he does have an affiliation to a suspicious doper!

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