Marion Jones finally admits what everyone else knew

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 8:07 am by Nicole

It will be a long time before I can get the image of Marion Jones angrily denying the BALCO allegations, calling USADA a “kangaroo court”, and playing us all for fools as the proof of her doping gradually trickled out of the investigations, out of my head.

Today throughout the track community and throughout the world of international sport en masse, there is cause for great sadness, but also for hope. It was an American athlete who finally admitted to doping en route to five Olympic medals in Sydney – but it was also an American investigation that caught her, and finally impressed upon her that it is harder to live a lifetime of a lie, than to admit the truth and hope that the future of sport – and her own personal future – will be better for it.

My hope for Marion Jones today is that she dedicates the rest of her life to being a positive force for change in international track and field and a role model for athletes who want to be able to compete on a clean level playing field. Kelli White made that choice in 2004 when she admitted her role in the BALCO scandal, and she remains a deeply admirable person for having done so, giving talks worldwide to help uncover the sinister side of elite sports competition. I look forward to seeing Marion Jones join that fight. That means more than any Olympic medal.

Marion Jones admits to doping (AP, via Sports Illustrated)

Report: Jones used steroids for two years before 2000 Games (ESPN)

Hunter was right – Jones got big boost from steroids (ESPN)

Olympic champion acknowledges use of steroids (New York Times)

A tarnished golden girl can’t outrun the truth (New York Times)

Rival sickened by Jones’ drug admission (The Age, Australia)

Former sprint queen admits doping (AFP)

Marion Jones admits to steroid use (Washington Post)

Games soured by cheat Jones (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)

Jones to plead guilty to doping (BBC)

Olympic champion Jones’ plea may reignite BALCO probe, IOC says (Bloomberg)


More on the China doping ring

Posted in Doping at 7:38 am by Nicole

From today’s New York Times (thankfully sans TimesSelect, so the link below should be live for a good long time to come):

China joins inquiry into steroid ring (New York Times)


Drug busts lead to China

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Doping at 7:15 am by Nicole

Links for now…my thoughts later:

DEA exposes a steroid web with links to China (New York Times)

Agents arrest 124 in drug raids (Washington Post)

“Raw Deal” busts labs across U.S., many supplied by China (ESPN The Magazine)

‘Roids raids (Yahoo Sports)


Lots of news

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Badminton, Doping, General, Sports Business, Tennis, Track and Field/Athletics at 7:13 am by Nicole

So many news clips, so little time.

World University Games (Universade):

The Chinese team had a great Universade, winning the medal count with 32 golds and 87 total medals.

A year out from the Beijing Olympics, China wins University Games gold race (International Herald Tribune)

A memorable Universade for hosts (The Nation – Thailand)

Universade concludes, China topping medal standings (China View)

Involvement of colleges leads China sports to sustainable development (People’s Daily Online)

China on way to sports system transformation (People’s Daily Online)

Nice haul for Canada at Bangkok Universade (Winnipeg Free Press) Editor’s note: This article isn’t about China, but I’m feeling a little guilty at not having posted more news of the World University Games (Universade) while they were being contested, so this is the CSB’s attempt at a touch of penance…it’s a great event, one that China has hosted in the past, and one well worth paying attention to.

World Badminton championships:

Trio of medals for China (SportingLife.com)


Report on Yan Zi in Montreal (Edmonton Sun) It’s old news now – Yan Zi lost after this article was posted – but it’s worth reading about how China’s stellar doubles player made it all the way to the singles semifinals against Justine Henin in Montreal from the qualifying rounds.

World Track and Field Championships (Starts Saturday August 25 in Osaka, Japan):

Event website

Sweet and sour taste of reality (The Herald) Coverage of the British national track and field team that will compete in Osaka, with some thoughts about 2008.

China hoping a strong comeback in athletics (Sri Lanka Daily News)

Yen for running (Times Online) Not a Chinese story, but a great feature on Britain’s Mara Yamauchi, her country’s top entry for the marathon at the world championships (fellow Briton and world record holder Paula Radcliffe had a baby in January and will not be competing in Osaka).

2008 Olympics:

Summer Games are coming, but U.S. dominance is over (SportingNews.com)

Beijing sees Olympics as China’s shot at gold (Hollywood Reporter)

Olympic sailing test event: Report on the British team (SportingLife.com)

IT at Beijing Olympic Games to cost US$400 million (Washington Post)

Beijing’s weekend smog experiment (Blog entry at The Lede, New York Times)

More important than gold medals (Japan Times)

Olympic education for 400 million young people in China (International Olympic Committee)

IOC still believes in Beijing (BBC: Sport Editors’ Blog)

State Councilor urges better implementation of anti-doping regulation (People’s Daily Online)

WADA asks China to increase doping tests for athletes (Voice of America)

Smog casts a cloud over Beijing (BBC)

Coastal city pulsates with Beijing (People’s Daily Online)


WADA in China

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Doping at 2:59 pm by Nicole

The International Herald Tribune reports on WADA chief Dick Pound’s upcoming trip to China, and his warning to Chinese authorities on doping problems inside the country.

WADA chief again looking into China doping (IHT.com)


Justin Gatlin and the feds

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 9:15 am by Nicole

Last summer I was heartbroken at the positive doping tests of Justin Gatlin and Floyd Landis – and saddened (but not surprised) when Marion Jones’ “A” sample turned up with EPO (yes, I know her “B” sample was deemed clean, but she’s not the first person I’d put on my list of “athletes I think are competing without drugs,” not by a long shot). So today’s news that Justin Gatlin has been actively assisting federal investigators in their investigation of Trevor Graham is intriguing and hopeful.

Gatlin assisted investigators in BALCO probe (Washington Post)

Any story about doping is a Beijing Olympic story, as far as I’m concerned – doping has finally, finally started to be looked at seriously by the governing bodies of the world’s most powerful sports organizations. This year’s Tour de France was either a mess, or a beacon of hope, depending on whose point of view you held…but I’m going with the hopeful view, because for the first time, a critical mass of active athletes took a very public stand against doping. So if Gatlin really was clean and got sabotaged, and if he took personal risks to bring Trevor Graham to justice, I’d love to see him back in it for 2008.


A note on updates…

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Doping, Figure Skating at 12:38 am by Nicole

One of my dear friends from graduate school has been blessed in the time since graduation with The World’s Cutest Daughter. She is amazing. Movie-star looks (for a one-and-eight-months-year-old, at least), fine blond hair, pouty lips, and the most adorable way of using a three-word phrase to denote the future, present, and past tenses of anything she happens to be doing at the moment. Dad (my friend) has a blog on which he posts photos and videos of The Cute One. And I always bug him about updating it more often, because there are just times when you need your daily dose of cute toddlers to be able to deal with the world at large.

Now, I’m not saying that the China Sports Blog is anything like the World’s Cutest Daughter blog (not its real name, of course), in terms of fan support or clamoring for updates. But I just wanted to acknowledge that if you’re frustrated that it’s been over a month since my last post, I concur – that’s not a good thing. Luckily, now that I really (really really) have a home and a place to rest my weary head at night, it’s way easier to update the blog on a regular basis.

So, a shoutout to my friend in Marin: update that baby blog pronto! I need more photos and stories of The Cute One.

On to the news…

Kwan in China: Michelle Kwan is traveling with Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, through China this week. The official government announcement of her trip can be found here. The Associated Press filed this report about one of Kwan’s visits to a Beijing school this week.

China’s 2008 preparations: Liu Peng, president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, is warning that Chinese athletes are not yet ready to compete for the top spot in the medal count in 2008, according to this report by Eurosport. Scroll to the bottom of the report for lots of other links to interesting Olympic-themed stories, including the rehearsal of the torch relay…to the top of Mount Everest.

Doping: It’s been widely reported, but here’s a link to one of many stories about the increase in the number of doping tests at the 2008 Olympics. From 3500 in Athens to 4500 in Beijing – here’s hoping that that translates to a cleaner competition.


More news on all those doping scandals

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 10:11 am by Nicole

Take your pick: Justin Gatlin, Marion Jones, Trevor Graham, or China…the news just keeps on coming.

Nike ends contract with coach Graham (Associated Press, via ESPN. com)

Gatlin has ‘no idea’ how substance got into his body (Associated Press, via ESPN.com)

China athletics school raid unearths 450 drug doses (Reuters, via Guardian Unlimited UK)

Another U.S. sprinter busted (Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated)

And, the best article I’ve seen that explains the Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones situations in detail (hint: the Gatlin story in particularly has been grossly inaccurately reported by many major news outlets):

Legs to stand on: Gatlin, Jones have two very different battles to fight (Sports Illustrated)


A doping report from China

Posted in Doping at 11:26 am by Nicole

Chinese and Western media outlets are reporting today that performance-enhancing drugs have been found in a sports school in Liaoning province in northeastern China.

Sports school caught in doping raid (China Daily)

Athletes, staff at Chinese sports school found doping (USA Today)

Report: Chinese sports school found using performance-enhancing drugs (Canada.com)


Thoughts on the Summer of Drugs

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 4:12 pm by Nicole

Finally, the track and field world is starting to get it. Drug use starts not with young athletes driving for success, but with the influential coaches and advisers who surround these young, talented athletes when they’re just starting out, gain their trust, and then convince them that they have to take drugs in order to succeed. The news this week includes several stories about getting dirty coaches out of sport, and it’s about time.

The trifecta of Jones, Gatlin and Landis failing doping tests this summer is astonishing, not only for the fact that – think about this – two Olympic gold medalists in the 100-meter dash, the sport’s premier event, got nailed, but also for the fact that both of them got caught by drug tests performed in the United States. After years of appearing to not fight doping among its own athletes seriously, the United States looks like it’s starting to get it right.

It’s a good change. American athletes win lots of medals, but in Europe, we’re known as bigger drug cheats than any other country we dare point our fingers at. The fact that Gatlin failed a doping test at the Kansas Relays, and Jones at U.S. nationals, says a lot about USADA and the seriousness of the anti-doping effort in the United States.

John Powers of the Boston Globe, with whom I’ve shared many a mixed zone, has a piece in the Boston Globe (link below) talking about the United States’ new Olympic priorities. It’s not about winning any more. It’s about showing up clean.

Go to news.google.com for all the latest on Marion’s “B” sample and Gatlin’s decision to not fight the results of his drug test and Landis’ latest news. I’ve posted the most intriguing articles below, but there are lots more out there from where these came from.

Jones’ golden career at crisis point (Independent UK)

Priority is being clean, not cleaning up (Boston Globe)

Top marathons want tougher sanctions (The New York Times)

Salon.com on Jones’ drug positive

When drug excuses defy reason (USA Today)

Other sports news:

Swimming: Chinese keep the world guessing (SuperSwimmer)

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »