Who’s to blame?; Kenya receives help from WADA

Gay Blames Gibson For Causing Positive Drug Test

It is not breaking news to track and field fans that shortly before the World Championships in Moscow last year, American sprinter Tyson Gay failed to make the World team after failing a drug test. Gay admitted his mistake when he said that “I basically put my trust in someone and was let down.” The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has been investigating the incident since Gay’s positive test, which allegedly derived from a cream Gay used. Outside of that, there are only speculations and rumors about who was responsible for supplying Gay with the cream which caused the positive drug test. The article suggests that the perpetrator is Clayton Gibson III, an Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging practitioner. But how much is Gibson really at fault?

According to the article, the facts are such that Gay should have realized the cream contained substances forbidden to Olympic athletes. The cream contains four ingredients which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): Testosterone, DHEA, IGF-1 and somatropin. What makes Gay appear most guilty in using this cream (despite assurances by Gibson that the cream was “all-natural”) is that the label on the cream says “Testosterone/DHEA Creme.” Director general David Howman of WADA commented on Gay’s and other athletes’ failed drug tests, warning athletes not to fall into the trap of relying on others responsible for their staying drug free, then drag them over the coals when something goes awry. Additionally, simply because one competitor uses them does not make it okay for athletes to use illegal substances.

The article goes on to explain how Gibson has reputable credentials (yet is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which is the gold standard of organizations), and how he has been working with NFL players since 2005. A disturbing fact about the cream is that it contains testosterone. Testosterone-enhancing substances are banned in all professional sports – including the NFL. But if NFL players worked with Gibson and claimed to have used his herbal cream (likely the same cream that caused a positive drug test in Gay), should that not mean that those NFL players would test positive also? It would make sense…if those athletes tested positive. There is no evidence showing that those athletes tested positive. Consider some of the possibilities that stem from this realization:

  1. The NFL players were not tested.
  2. The NFL players were tested, but the cream makes it difficult to detect testosterone, or any other substance banned by the NFL.
  3. Gay’s blame was misplaced, and was actually using other substances which caused his positive drug test.
  4. The NFL players and Gay used different creams disseminated by Gibson.

Lauryn Williams, a former track and field Olympian in the women’s 100 meter dash (who competes in the bobsled and is currently in Sochi) wrote a blog which strongly indicates her interaction with Gibson. Her uneasiness may indicate Gibson’s questionable character, and is a stronger indicator of the cream’s illegal nature. So, the question becomes this: with Gibson having such a substantial influence on a sizable amount of NFL stars, why did Gay test positive, while these other NFL stars continued to play – some of which competed in the Superbowl and have not tested positive? The fact does raise some legitimate concerns in the NFL’s testing procedures, but it is doubtful if any investigations will occur.

Hurry Up, Kenya

Normally, speed is hardly an issue with Kenya when you consider how their elite in distance races dominate. Kenya has numerous world records in track and field, starting from the 800 meter run all the way up to the marathon. Kenya is slow in one area – investigating cases of athletes doping. Kenya’s lethargy led to WADA flying a team to Kenya to help expedite the investigation process. For those of you who missed the earlier article about this: WADA charged Kenya with the responsibility of conducting investigations of doping cases in athletes within a short period of time. Kenya is slow to carry out its task, and it appears that the Kenyan government underbudgeted the project. The committee threatened to halt their operations due to financial difficulties until WADA came in to assist. Kenya, a country that takes immense pride in running, boasted that their athletes were clean. It was not until the committee discovered that 17 of its athletes (none of them record-breaking ones) that Kenya contradicted itself. The hope is that with the WADA team assisting, Kenya will meet its deadline.

An article talks about the science of how crash training actually produces worse results than spreading them over a longer period of time, and a different article suggests that if you’re attractive, you’re likely to be a better endurance athlete. (Note: It’s interesting that the article focuses more on cyclists, but uses a picture of Nick Symmonds.) Finally, there are some questions concerning Ukraine’s heated political climate and whether it will affect its ability to host the Winter and Paralympic Games in 2022.

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