Letâ€™s take a trip to the Caribbean, to an island of exotic beauty; where, as of late, the fastest human beings on the planet have been discovered living. The Island is Jamaica and its National track team led by Usain Bolt, has been putting on super human performance around the word. They’ve been shattering world records and basically dominating the global track and field sprint scene. The once dominant U.S. team can hardly field a serious challenger against them these days, and theyâ€™re running rings around the rest of competition planet wide, on the menâ€™s side. The question has been asked, and its certainly been a constant rumor that maybe the Jamaicans are cheating. Based on track and fieldâ€™s record to date, and all sports being touched by the use of performance enhancing drugs; itâ€™s not out of the question to be suspicious.
Letâ€™s take a romanticized look at the Jamaican story first though; It could be, Jamaicaâ€™s track success is due to some special tropical plant, that only grows high up on the mountain hill sides. Maybe itâ€™s a special gene or a special advantage the get from the unique training environment. Why cant it be the positive story. There are plenty of athletes that do it the right way. Everybody doesn’t cheat. Maybe this is one of the stories about the good guys. Iâ€™m a sucker for the underdog. David vs. Goliath, Rudy finally getting in for one play his senior season, light conquers darkness.
But, what if, the meteoric rise of these Jamaican tornadoes is due to banned substances? The notion is not totally unsubstantiated. Shade was recently cast In 2012, when Dominique Blake, Jamaican 400-meter runner, tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant banned in competition. The chemical is commonly used as a nasal decongestant. This is Blake’s second positive test. She was banned for nine months after ephedrine was found in her system in 2006. She went to London but did not compete. National 800-meter champ Ricardo Cunningham tested positive for pseudoephedrine, a common but banned cold medication. He did not make the Olympic team.
After the Olympics, Carl Lewis indirectly accused the Jamaicans of cheating, by questioning the strength of Jamaicaâ€™s doping control. Usain Bolt said he lost all respect for the legend after he was made aware of Lewis’s comments. Bolt however, gave his detractors plenty of ammunition to attack the validity of his success, when he hired a man named Angel Heredia to become his track coach in 2009. Angel Heredia worked with Victor Conte at BALCO Labs and later testified against C.J. Hunter, Tim Montgomery, Marion Jones, and current 2012 U.S. Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin. In the case against BALCO, his testimony against BALCO athletes, in verifying the documents that detailed the drug schedules for those athletes, was crucial in obtaining convictions or confessions from those individuals. Heredia was also the trainer of the suspiciously bulked up Juan Manuel Marquez before his stunning knockout of Manny Pacquio last year. Marquez was never known as a knockout puncher before his new training regimen under Heredia. If you’re Bolt Why risk the scrutiny and innuendo that comes with associating with Heredia, a master cheat. Unlessâ€¦?
Unless, he’s cheating. I hate the way that sounds. Moreover, I hate the idea that in today’s world the negative story is so prevalent; were suspicious of those who have not shown us a genuine reason for being so. Iâ€™m not accusing either way. My personal stance on PEDs is let em in. I loved Barry Bonds coming to the plate, fully healthy from rubbing the BALCO cream on his aging muscles. I donâ€™t want to see sports played like Babe Ruth in the twenties, but imagine if the Babe played now working out with creatin, andro and human growth hormone. I say Lets get rid of the restrictions, and if you use, do you. But, if PED’s are what you’re about, let us know. Don’t lie and smile in our faces denying it. We all know the world could use some more heroes right now. Something that represents truth. So, If what those heroes do has a positive effect on people in a world flooded with negativity, does it matter what’s mixed up in their water bottle at the gym?