Are The Fastest Men In The World Really That Fast?

With the anniversary of the Olympic Games taking place this weekend, the athletics industry took centre stage once again but with the recent news of banned substances being taken by some of the world’s most high profile athletes, a shadow of doubt was cast over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium.

When the news broke that 100m sprint giants Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay had failed a drugs test, the up and coming athletics industry suffered a major blow and people began to question the authenticity of the athletics industry.

Tyson Gay is currently the fastest man on the planet this year, but the US sprinter failed multiple drug tests and one of his positive tests was at the US championships in June where he won the 100m and 200m.

When interviewed, Tyson Gay fought back his tears as he opened up to the world and voiced his regret: “I don’t have a sabotage story. 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,” he said. “I don’t have any of those stories. I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.”

Tyson Gay has been one of the longest watched sprinters of all time and one of the only few athletes that come close to challenging world record holder Usain Bolt. Tyson gay has marketed himself as a clean athlete and even took part in Usada’s My Victory Program, which was designed to catch out any cheats by using enhanced drug. Tyson Gay’s test results came back negative which suggests only recently has he started to use banned substances. Both Tyson Gay and Asfa Powell are in their 30s and naturally their bodies may not be able to work at the capacity they used to be able to which has resulted in them finding it hard to keep up with the 20 something’s, Usain Bolt, Warren Weir and Yohan Blake.

Usain Bolt has become the face of the athletics industry and after the news broke of two high profile athletes failing drug tests, he took it upon himself to help the public restore their face in the Athletics industry. “I was made to inspire people and made to run. I was given a gift and that’s what I do. I know I’m clean so I’m just going to continue running and using my talent.”

Doping in sport seemed to be on the decline, but continuous advances in technology and the development of substances is allowing more athletics to use sophisticated methods to allow the use banned substances to go on undetected.

England’s own Dwain Chambers received a lifetime Olympic ban in 2006 after he was caught out using the banned substance THG. His ban was lifted in 2012, allowing him to run in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Justin Gatlin was another athlete to receive a lengthy ban after testing positive for banned substances but like Dwain Chambers, he was able to run in the 2012 Olympics which saw him picking up a bronze medal in the 100m final.

Asafa Powell is adamant that he will return back to the world of sprinting as a clean man, but should he be allowed to run again, even if he is clean? As it stands, athletes who test positive for banned substances can return back to the track as little as two years later.

The athletics industry is hurting and many athletes and fans feel like they have been let down by the industry. In order to go forward, stricter laws need to be put in place such as life time bans on the first offence and help rid athletics of its cheats once and for all.

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