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LET THE FARCE BEGIN By Rae Samuel

posted 4 Aug 2016, 11:37 by Gerry Kangalee
The 2016 Olympics re track and field is limping towards the start in worse shape than a sprinter with hamstring injuries, shin splints and no elite funding. In fact the whole Games seems to be as organised and appealing as a group of tired drunken Jour Ouvert revellers returning home accompanying themselves with old biscuit tins, a 'dudup' whistles and arguments.

Even at this late hour it is not clear which Russian athletes will take part and which ones will not. On one hand the bodies with general oversight such as W.A.D.A and the I.O.C. are called upon to pronounce on issues of doping then in the week before the Games the individual federations are called upon to make the call. Perfect conditions for preparing to compete at elite level!

First it was all of Russia and then some of Russia. How would an athlete have been able to prepare amidst this uncertainty? But it gets worse. The B.B.C. announces that Lizzie Armstead, silver medallist in women's cycling in 2012 escapes a ban that would have seen her miss the Rio Games. There were 3 failures relating to her whereabouts which led to her missing drugs test. The Court for Arbitration in Sport ruled that there were 'procedural errors' in the first test.

Christine Ohuruogu 2008 Olympic women's 400m champion was banned for a year in 2006 for missing 3 tests. Go figure…and remember that Lizzie holds a British not Russian passport. But the Cold War was relatively cool then back in 2012.

No no…don't sit down! The Russian Weightlifting Federation can appeal bans placed on its athletes with 4 days to the opening of the Games. Guess like our lone gymnast at the Games, they are packed and waiting at their gyms. We are still waiting to find out if Trinidad and Tobago will be promoted to gold in the men's 4x100m. following Jamaican Nesta Carter's failed drug test as a member of the winning Jamaican team. My guess is that we are not supposed to talk about it until after the Games i.e. let's see if Bolt hits 9 golds and then....maybe...?

But let the Games begin! Full speed ahead, literally, by any means. What can one say when a team includes Le Shawn Merrit who has failed 3 tests, Tyson Gay one so far and Justin Gatlin who has been failing tests since 2002. Or Jamaica includes Asafa Powell who was also banned for failing tests? It would come as no surprise to read that Ben Johnson has been appointed head of the Canadian track and field team or that Lance Armstrong will next head the international body for cycling…and why not? If the bar is on the ground let's bring in the worst!

Let the farce begin!

 

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