Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2013 Contents 15
Issue 97 • Friday, July 19, 2013
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The red carpet world of track and field,
where fortunes are made and the battle
for world domination starts with a gun
and ends a few short seconds later, was
shattered over the weekend when three
sprinters tested positive for banned sub-
One, Asafa Powell, a Jamaican 100m
sprinter, had been the world beater be-
fore his compatriot raised the standard
for world dominance by lowering the
record for the short sprint.
Another, Tyson Gay, an American, was
the man most likely to change the status
quo in sprinting, by challenging for the
world crown in Moscow---site of next
month's IAAF World Championships in
The other, a woman, Sherone Simp-
son, is Powell's MVP track club team-
mate and also placed second in the 100m
at Jamaican national championships.
At press time, the substance Gay had
tested positive for had been unknown.
USADA said Sunday that the 30-year-
old's B sample has yet to be tested so
they would not confirm or deny the failed
Gay's positive came at an out-of-com-
petition test in May. Powell and Simp-
son's came at the recently held Jamaica
national championships. The Jamaicans'
were using Oxilofrine, also known as
methylsynephrine, which is bandied as a
"dietary supplement" with thermogenic
properties: a fat burner. One is tempted
to stop there, however, digging deeper
into the literature, the compound: "may
also play a role in vesicular exchange-dif-
In layman's terms: the micro-cellular
level of getting gases into and out of
cells. Gases like oxygen and carbon diox-
ide.All of a sudden, fat loss is not just the
only benefit of this material. It should
also be note that this compound is not
used in isolation, but typically is part of a
multi-compound "stack" of supplements
that are geared to work in concert to
bring about the desired pharmacological
The compound oxilofrine does not
exist naturally within the food supply.
One cannot go to the market on a Sunday
and inadvertently consume this.
Let's get something abundantly clear:
Elite athletes do not walk around a sta-
dium taking drinks from Harry and Jane's
sippy-cup. The notion that, in 2013, an
athlete would "inadvertently consume" a
substance in a "spiked drink" is absolute
hogwash, and the next athlete to tell the
public that's how they ended up testing
positive for so-so-so-and-so, should be
banned for trying to take big people for
fools. Even at the primary school level,
athletes only drink what's offered to
them by coaches, parents and club
mates. It's no different at the elite level
in world athletics.
Gay had run the fastest time in the
world this year at June's US trials for the
world championships in Iowa. His 9.75sec
was the 10th fastest 100m of all time.
World record holder Usain Bolt's best
time over 100m this season is 9.94sec
set in Kingston in June.
To Gay's credit, he admitted what had
happened. "I don't have a sabotage
story," he said, "I don't have any lies. I
don't have anything to say to make this
seem like it was a mistake or it was on
USADA's hands, someone playing games.
I don't have any of those stories."
Powell, the fourth-fastest man in his-
tory, proclaimed: "My team has launched
an internal investigation and we are co-
operating with the relevant agencies and
law enforcement authorities to discover
how the substance got in my system."
It's useless to speculate as to why and
what and how; we can only go with what
we know. What we know is that these
athletes have been busted and will no
longer compete at the Moscow world
championships. What we do know is that
we are not stupid. The WADA doesn't
test for bubblegum and "cassava".
On Monday, Italian police confiscated
drugs from the Fra i Pini hotel in Lignano
Sabbiadoro in northeastern Italy, where
Powell and Simpson were staying. Udine
police captain Antonio Pisapia revealed
that the rooms of the athletes and physi-
cal trainer Christopher Xuereb of Canada
were searched and that drugs were re-
moved. He said it was unclear if the
drugs were legal or illicit and that the
substances were being analysed.
An athletics meet was scheduled for
Tuesday in Lignano and Powell and Simp-
son had been scheduled to compete,
however, neither were on start lists re-
Gay's sponsor, Adidas has suspended
its contract with the athlete.
"We are shocked by these recent alle-
gations, and even if we presume his inno-
cence until proven otherwise, our
contract with Tyson is currently sus-
pended," said an Adidas spokesman.
If B samples return positive, these
athletes will all face a two-year ban from
all competition and may also face the
possibility of having their performances
stricken from the record books.
Seventeen-year-old Russian, Sergey Sirotkin, is to be prepared as a 2014 race driver for
Sauber as part of new partnership with three Russian organisations which the team say will pro-
vide a solid foundation for them to increase their competitiveness on a long-term basis. (Trans-
late that to mean: Money.)
The Russian organisations involved are the Investment Cooperation International Fund, the
State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Avi-
ation Technologies---one of the leading scientific research institutions in Russia.
Sauber will benefit from the advanced know-how of the front-end Russian scientists and en-
Moscow-born Sirotkin, 17, is currently competing in Formula Renault 3.5, having taken his
maiden podium in the series earlier this year, and has previously secured two victories in the
Auto GP World Series as well as the 2011 Formula Abarth Euro title. The only Russian F1 driver to
date has been Vitaly Petrov, who raced for Renault/Lotus and Caterham in 2010-12.
Susie Wolff will have her first
full F1 test drive today at the
wheel of a Williams in this
week's "young-driver" test at
The 30-year-old Scot raced in
the DTM German touring car
championship for seven years
before quitting the series to
concentrate on her work with
the British outfit.
Two of the fastest men on earth have tested positive for banned substances;
Tyson Gay, right, and Asafa Powell. Sherone Simpson, who was second at the
Jamaican 100m championships, also tested positive.
Japanese manufacturer Honda will return to F1 as engine
supplier to McLaren for the second season of the new regula-
tions and is scheduled to fire up its engine on the dyno for the
first time later this season.
Rumours that it will be in an F1 car or a test mule have been
quashed by Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai, who insists
they have no intention to do so.
The new formula will be a 1.6-litre V6 turbo. Autosport fans
would immediately recall the Honda NSX, which was powered
by a 3-litre V6 that had a production run from 1990 to 2005 but,
in different trim and with different equipment, ran in the Japan-
ese GT race series up till as late as 2009.
The company has participated in Formula 1 as an entrant,
constructor and engine supplier between 1964 and 2008, when
it cited "the global financial crisis" for the reason behind the
withdrawal from the world's premier race series. Then team
principal Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team,
which raced as Brawn GP in 2009, and was subsequently sold to
Daimler-Benz AG and renamed Mercedes GP for the 2010 sea-
son.Missing a year's racing will give Mercedes, Ferrari and Re-
nault a year of experience of running the engines, it will allow
Honda more time to develop its power unit.
"In terms of the advantages, we can say that it is going to
give us enough time to spend on designing and developing the
engine," said Arai.
"But while we can observe other teams struggling or have
other issues, we can only see how they deal with the challenges
and see the performance updates.
Scotswoman doesn't quite
sound right for Susie Wolff,
who will be racing round Sil-
verstone in a Williams today.
The previous Honda-McLaren alliance, which lasted from 1988 to 1992, had resulted in four
constructors' World Championships with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost behind the steering
wheel. Will the new team have what it takes to battle for the World Championship once again?
Young Russian, Sergey Sirotkin, will race for Sauber in 2014.
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