The fastest man ever, all looking bitter, seemed baffled by the utterances made by a former world champion which pointed to the fact that the former's performance is held in doubt. "I have no respect for him," Bolt said of Carl Lewis. "The things he says about track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to say something like that. I think he's just looking for attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him."
True, Carl Lewis insinuated that there should be some kind of illegal enhancement
that is responsible for the fastest speed ever run by any man. In that respect, it can be safely said that Carl Lewis alluded to doping which has been part and parcel of sporting history since the 19th century. For instance, Thomas Hicks of the United States is said to have taken a pre-race cocktail of egg whites, brandy and strychnine to enhance his performance. His fellow American, the glamorous goddess of American track, Florence Griffith Joe, fondly known as Flo-Jo, was said to be an average sprinter in her 20s. However, she set a world record of 10.49 in the 100 that is yet to be broken after more than two decades. But all who doubted her record back then hastened to add that no scientific test had ever been ever made to prove her a doper.
Although the London Olympics were punctuated by inspirational performances from female athletes, none of them came close to beating Flo Jo's record; an excruciating conundrum that it ought to be since there are far better training facilities and the best of trainers today compared to those of the times back then.
Today I look at one of the forms of doping that is referred to as blood doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency defines it as the misuse of techniques and or substances to increase one’s blood cell count. Usually, two pints are removed from the athlete’s blood at least two weeks before the competition. This blood is then frozen until one or two days to the competition, thawed and then re-injected into the athlete. It is commonly used by endurance athletes such as marathoners and cyclists to enhance endurance in particular and performance at large as a result of extra oxygen flowing to the working muscles.
For the sake of breaking the world record, athletes will take the risk of blood doping and to them, the record does outweigh the side effects which range from increased blood viscosity, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, cerebral vascular accident, infections as well as myocardial infarction.
Yet we cannot say without being against certitude that the standards are dropping due to doping but may be right to say that doping may have been responsible for the apparently high standards back then.
‘We know why some of those records have not been broken,’ said Franke, a professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg. ‘But the fact the times are much slower now points to a significantly cleaner sport.’ I wonder what he would have to say about male athletes who are breaking world records. Would he say the same? I think I should stick to Miami movers who do not require any kind of performance enhancement
to give a superb