Usain Bolt Vs Ben Johnson

Like most people I was captivated by the men’s sprint events at the Olympics, and like everybody else I was amazed at Bolt’s record and also by the margin by which he won. But I can remember the last time that I was this staggered by an Olympic sprint final, 1988, Seoul.

Then of course it was Ben Johnson that was unstoppable, and it was Ben Johnson that broke the world record and destroyed the field in the 100m. It was also the year that athletics was irrecoverably tarnished in my eyes. Ever since then I have viewed athletics differently, appraised the results differently and sadly been far more cynical.

Bolt’s 100m triumph.

This cynicism had faded somewhat over the years, until we had a slew of sprinters found guilty of doping and not just the nearly men either, the top athletes. For the first time that I could remember since 1988, the world record started going backwards. Tim Montgomery was stripped of his world record for doping, then Justin Gatlin. The top female spriner Marion Jones was eventually revealed as a drugs cheat as was British No.1 Dwain Chambers.

Ben Johnson’s 100m ‘triumph’

My mind inevitably went back to 1988 and Ben Johnson and had me wondering whether the top athletes since then had really been clean, or had just gotten away with it.

Sadly I think that it may have been the latter.

I hope that Bolt is clean, and other than his amazing results, there really has been no reason to doubt him, but just looking at the picture takes me back 20 years and to the huge disappointment that I felt when Johnson was exposed as a drugs cheat.

Should Bolt be exposed at some point in the future as a drugs cheat, it will surely bury the 100m sprint as no one will believe what they see anymore.

Bolt’s 200m triumph

Only time will tell whether Bolt is clean, hopefully he is, but because of Ben Johnson I will always have a nagging doubt and be waiting for that positive test.


95 responses to “Usain Bolt Vs Ben Johnson

  1. Sadly, your findings are shared by many athletics fans around the world.
    But are they just doing what all of us do? How many people deliberately exceed the speed limit to get to work on time? we do this because our income & livelihood may depend on us being there on time. So we ‘flout’ the law to our own benefit – I know I have done this on occasion..
    I will admit though that there are differences.
    It is against the law of the land to exceed the speed limit – it is not against the law to take performance enhancing substances. Exceeding the speed limit endangers your own life and that of innocent road users & pedestrians, taking banned substances may damage your health, but only yours.
    We push our athletes for results & when they don’t perform the press ‘rubbishes’ them. Sometimes they give in and – yes – cheat.
    Do I condone it? absolutely NOT, but I can understand them..particularly when my speedometer is reading 35 – 40 & I am driving in a 30 MPH zone because I am late for work!

    Food for thought maybe?

  2. Thanks for the comment Steve.

    You have a point, after all if we suspect that everyone is cheating then the athletes must be thinking the same thing and that the only way for them to have a ‘fair’ chance is to cheat.

    Interesting point about the speeding, but there isn’t as much of a stigma attached to speeding (rightly or wrongly) as cheating. People just really do not like cheats, even though, as you point out, no one is really harmed.

  3. good job jamaca fe life

  4. Dude, it is so obvious everybody is cheating. Ever since Allan Wells won the 100m gold in 10.11 prelims, 10.25 in lane 8 finals, most of the gold medal 100m sprinters have been caught for steroids.

    Countries like the United States, Jamaica and other Caribbean nations, Greece, and most likely Japan now are as bad or worse than East Germany. Look at the top ten 200m eer by females; they are all by Jamaica, East Germany, and the United States.

    Sprinting is tarnished. Obviously there are some clean ones. i think Kim Collins is one. Another is Craig Pickering. Wallace Spearmon, Jeremy Wariner, and Christophe Lemaitre are probably all clean just because they all weigh under 160 lbs. LOL.

    But for the most part the 100m/200m sprinters are all on performance enhancing drugs.

    Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis started the trend. Usain Bolt is carrying the torch.

    • I do think that Craig Pickering is clean, but I don’t think the rest of the British sprint team are, which of course will mean he either cheats, or slowly fades away.

      As Dwain Chambers said, the only way to compete is to cheat; the British sprint team, and the others around the world must hit the same barrier at some point – they run their best, but their best is way off the pace and they need something else.

      I do believe that most, if not all 100m runners are on something, sadly doping only works by detecting, if the Doping agency doesn’t know about it, they can’t detect it. We wouldn’t have known about THG if Trevor Graham hadn’t handed in a sample.

      This of course makes me very sceptical, and makes me wonder whether Bolt, probably like Lewis, Christie, Greene and all the others are just using something that the Doping Agency don’t know about.

      All they have to do is retire before it is discovered and case closed.

  5. Hey,

    Not trying to be a nusiance but you said something in the last board that WILL BE proven wrong this year. You said Emanuele Di Gregorio will not break 10.2 and Fabio Cerutti won’t break 10.1. They both ran PBs in the 60 this year with 6.56 and 6.55, respectively. Di Gregorio had a PB of 10.28 and already ran 10.24 this year. Fabio Cerutti had never broken 6.60 in the 60 before this year and has already ran 10.13. Do you seriously think Cerutti won’t come closer to 10.10 and Di Gregorio won’t break 10.20 this year? Success this early indicates they will do even better than that. The Italians usually peak before the Championship meats but they usually run very fast PBs. Simone Collio is another one who ran 10.24 this year.

    I believe Naoki Tsukahara and Craig Pickering will dip below 10.10 this year. I know Craig was not at peak form this year in the 60 meter but his top speed is undoubtedly better than ever. He ran 15.42 150 meter on a curve (unlike Bolt’s) this year despite being an over 21 sec 200m runner. Also he ran 10.18 in the olympics. Actually, both of these young guys were the two fastest non-blacks in the Olympics.

    Also, Lemaitre shows every sign of improvement being possible. He weighs only 155 lbs. and is 18 y.o. this year, and ran a new PB already at 10.26. He is 6’3,” very similar to Usain Bolt. Christian Blum ran a 6.55 60 meter early this year, and the World Championships are in Germany, his turf. I expect him to dip below 10.20 this year or even challenege 10.10. One this is for sure, at the 60m world championships next year he will be a gold medal threat.

    As you can tell, I have stopped arguing in theory (which we will always disagree on) and am now stating times and improvements that are likely.

    Don’t underestimate the home field advantage for Craig Pickering in 2012. Same with Blum and Unger in 2009.

    The only sure bet to break ten here is Lemaitre in my opinion. I would love to see Pickering do it in london or this year.

    My predictions will be very true in due time. I assure you.

    • Emanuele Di Gregorio is 29 this year, before last year his PB was 10.45s, suddenly he ran a 10.28s last year and already a 10.24s this year; that is quite an improvement. I don’t think that there is much more left for him to be honest, he may make something like 10.18s or 10.19s, but I very much doubt it. My prediction for Di Gregorio is that we have seen the best of him already this year, whatever ‘improvements’ he’s made to cut 0.20s off his PB have peaked. He has got no chance of a sub 10.1s.

      Cerutti is better but I don’t think he has much chance of breaking 10.1. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. He may improve his PB slightly, but he won’t break sub 10.1s. Collio’s best days are also behind him, he’s 30 this year, he hasn’t run under 10.2s for two years, he has no chance of a 10.1s and frankly I’ll be amazed if he breaks 10.2s.

      If anyone is going to dip below 10.1s this year, it is going to be Naoki Tsukahara, he’s looking really good. He’s already run a PB this year and has been consistent the past few years.

      As for Pickering, I’m not sure. At the British trials last year I thought he looked really good and he looked as though he was really going to mature that year, but he disappointed in the Olympics, if you don’t run a PB in your first Olympics, when do you? His indoor season this year has been awful and his attitude is terrible. Every interview I see with him he seems to get more and more depressed and more and more frustrated with himself.

      I am not sure that Pickering has the right mental attitude for sprinting. His 150m time was OK, but it is rarely run and only puts him tenth on Britain’s all time list at 150m, worse, it is only the 5th fastest 150m this year. But it is faster than Simeon Williamson (British No.1 – excluding Chambers) has run 150m this year, or ever, but Williamson’s 100m best this year is just 10.78s, so it may not be his season. It is also better than Tyrone Edgar (British No.2).

      Devonish has run faster 150m twice this year, but he is a 200m runner and as you say, Pickering is not, nor is Edgar and Williamson. Hopefully it will have given Pickering the boost he desperately needs as the way I see it, if Pickering doesn’t beat his PB this year, he never will, he’s just a little too negative. A shame as he is capable of a sub 10.1s and therefore breaking the British white record, but he is his own worst enemy.

      It should be noted that everyone seems to assume that Pickering will be running in the 100m in Berlin, but he unless he pulls off something special, he won’t even make the team. Dwain Chambers, who has a PB of 9.97s, is free to compete and has already run a British record at 60m. Simeon Williamson has a PB of 10.03s, Tyrone Edgar has a PB of 10.06s, Marlon Devonish has a PB of 10.06s (and has run 10.11s this year). The 20 year old Harry Aikines-Aryeetey has a PB of 10.10s which he ran last year and has already run 10.19s this year.

      Also Mark Lewis-Francis is making a comeback this year and has a PB of 10.04s and is being trained by Linford Christie, although as far as I know he hasn’t run yet.

      Pickering is going to have to run a PB just to make the British team. On paper there are six 100m sprinters ahead of him, so he may not even make the relay team. It may well be that we won’t see anything of Pickering this year, and if not this year, probably not much of him again. Of course it is good news for Britain that we have such a strong sprint team, but bad news for Pickering who doesn’t appear to handle things like that very well.

      Unless he really picks up this year, the only thing Pickering will be doing in 2012 is watching from the stands.

  6. Pickering will run sub 10.10 this year. I agree that that might not even be good enough to run individually at Berlin, but he will at least make the relay team because Simone is done and Chaimbers is not allowed to. Personally, I think Pickering is the fastest he has ever been. It is deebatable, but although his starts this year sucked I think his top speed is better than ever. He ran a 6.58 catching Kim Collins from WAY behind, and also ran 6.56, only .01 off his PB. If you watch his closing spped in Turin Championships you can tell that in a 100m he would beat Cerutti, and come close to Chaimbers by the end of the race.

    I forgot to mention Jared Connaughton. He has alreday ran a 10.26 this year and is racing Usain bolt this weekend.

    As you can see there are just so many good white sprinters compared to the Asian ones that one this year at least will break 10.10.

    Christophe Lemaitre is the white Usain bolt. Mark my words. And I am pretty sure that Pickering will run fast this year, according to an inside source.

    • Chambers can and, as long as his wins at the AAA’s will be in the British team. He was only banned from the Olympics, sadly.

      Jared Connaughton I don’t really know much about, but like all white sprinters he will hit the 10.1s barrier and most likely get no further. He may improve on his PB this year, but I don’t think he’ll break 10.1s. Christian Blum is still trying to break 10.2s, again if he doesn’t break this season, in Berlin, he never will but again I don’t think he’ll break 10.1s.

      LeMaitre is interesting as he has already equalled his PB from last year this year, so it looks as though he’ll get a new PB in Berlin, if not before. If he breaks 10.2s this year, maybe he can also break 10.1s, but we’ll see.

      I hope you’re right about Pickering, he was disappointing at the Olympic and at the Euro indoors, but he really needs to pull off something special as the British team is pretty crowded this year. And that means that the very least a new PB.

  7. Hi guys,

    I’m happy to see I’m not the only one to believe Christophe Lemaitre will run a sub-10.

    I follow him since 2007 and that guy is amazing.

    Today he clocked a nice 10’03 but unfortunalety too much windy (+4m).

    Even if his performance is wind-asisted, It means he is able to run at that time, His body is able to do it.

    This summer will be hot 🙂

  8. I just want to add something, I had not seen the previous discussion about “fastest white man” and I disagree with some racist claims like “black take drugs and white are clean” or whatever.

    I’m a big fan of track and field and a big fan of athlets. I respect them, black or white and don’t have any racism idea.

    I support Lemaitre because as me, he is french and I just would like to see at least one time in my life a white under 10s in regular condition.

    And if it’s a french it would awesome 🙂

    That’s it.

    • Thanks for the comments Jim.

      Lemaitre is certainly talented, whether he is sub 10.1s capable remains to be seen. He is certainly one of only about two or three white sprinters that I believe are capable of breaking 10.1s.

      And if it’s a french it would awesome 🙂

      Probably one of the few times I’ll be cheering on a Frenchman 😉

  9. Lemaitre is hot. I cannot wait to see him run in Berlin.

    The only reason that black athletes take steroids more is because they usually come from countries like Jamaica, the United States, and Great Britain. These countries usually take steroids and are in the same boat as east Germany.

    France looks clean in sprinting in my opinion. Pognon is definitely clean. Lemaitre will follow in his footsteps. Except for the Tour De France’, which is pretty much doped up. Not just the American Armstrong in my opinion. Portugal and Spain are clean, most African countries are clean, Australia is clean. Greece is another dirty one. Although I don’t think Kenteris took drugs until after his 19.85 in 2002 in 2004 right befor ethe Olympics in his home country. That is when he tested positive.

    I am tire of being accused of being racist when I am the exact opposite. If I were to say whites only score better on standardized tests because they have more opportunity to study and care more about school, nobody would disagree. But when I say blacks care more about track, belong to countries with steroid history (Jamaican born drug cheeats are Linford Christie, Ben Johnson, and probably Bolt) then and only then do the racist comments start flying.

    Lemaitre is beyond a sub 10 threat by the way. Him and Yohan Blake of Jamaica aree the fastest in their age class. I see Lemaitre getting either gold or silver in 2016, and might sneek in a medal in 2012.

    Pickering will be below 10.10 this year. The question is will it be enough to beat Simeon. And no Chaimbers is not allowed to be on the relay team even in 2009 only to run individually.

    • Just found out that you were right about Chambers, must have missed that in all the furore about his autobiography.

      It’s silly really, either he is Britain’s top sprinter, or he isn’t, this pathetic excuse for exluding him only makes UK athletics look sad.

      They should either ban him completely (which I think they should) or let him compete properly. If he wins at the AAAs, as he most likely will, we’ll be the only nation whose No.1 sprinter isn’t in their relay team!

      I can’t see them sticking to it to be honest, it is plain silly. What happens if he wins Gold at 100m? Unlikely I know, but even a good result is going to increase the pressure for him to be in the team.

      It certainly is going to be the most interesting 100m at the World Championships for a while, lots of upcoming talent.

    • Pickering may really be up against it, James Dasaolu ran a 10.09s a few days ago, as Simeon Williamson did last week. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey has already run a 10.17s, and with Rikii Fifton looking good too, that puts seven atheletes with faster PBs than him running this year and seven ahead of him in terms of best times this year.

      It is unlikely that Pickering will be in the top 8. On the plus side Mark Lewis-Francis ran a few days ago and his best time was 10.59s! Don’t think he’s a threat this year, or ever again!

  10. Bolt is an exceptional athlete and I’m prepared to believe he is clean, sadly the whole perception of the use of drugs in athletics has become unbalanced, yes some athletes cheat and some don’t let’s not forget all the hard work and training that they put in to achieve their performances.

    The point about ‘black’ athletes taking drugs and white not thus explaining the success of the black sprinters over whites is ludicrous and should not even be seriously discussed.

    If there is an advantage amongst some ‘black’ sprinters it is to do with the fact that they might have genetic roots in West Africa NOT that they are ‘black’. To associate all the advantages to the colour of skin is to badly misunderstand the notion of ‘race’ and genetics.

    Also the usefulness of ‘drugs’ in athletics is misunderstood and often misrepresented. The type of drugs that spinters have been found to take enable them to train harder and to bulk up muscle quicker, the drugs do not directly effect their race speed but have a secondary effect by making their training regime more effective. However there is no reason why the same effects cannot be reached without the use of drugs. I suspsect that the biggest advantage to taking drugs is a mental one, the confidence that the athelete has knowing he has an advantage by taking drugs or possibly the feeling that by taking drugs he/she is now competing on a level playing field with others.

    Finally there is an inconsistency in drugs policy here…’performance’ enhancing drugs are supposed to be banned but it is usual to see athletes having legal pain killing injections to suppress the effect on injury before matches or competions so that they can perform..surely these are truly performance enhancing drugs allowing an athlete to perform with an injury and probably harming them in the process since the injury will be worse for it.

  11. You say it should not be seriously discussed when the black record has fallen several tenths of a second and the white record has remained the same. You sound like someone pretty content the way things are.

    Charlie says that the assumption white athletes don’t use steroids and black athletes have because they compete for US Jamaica, and GB.

    Is it not equally ludicrous to assume that white athletes had “maxed themselves out” years ago?

    The problem is white athletes do not care and do not think they can. Charlie said that “mostly 85% of European sprinters are white and they can’t break 10,” but how does he know they are the best white athletes. They are better than the blacks in their country, but they are certainly not the best. Most athletes play soccer that are white. And typically people who are really fast are not very athletic at coordination sports for some reason. Whites who suck at soccer but are fast are less likely to do track then black athletes.

    Thirdly. Woronin sucked and he ran 10.00. Shirvo, Nagel, Borzov, and Wells were all consistently faster sprinters. If a bad white can do it than a good white with wind behind him can too on a good day. The chances go down for an outlier performance like Woronin when there are only one or two whites at each starting line.

    How does anybody expect the small amount of whites competing in track to win. When 7 of the 8 people at the starting line are black, odds are the white should come in last. But ones like Lemaitre don’t. Why? Because they are an outlier? No, because they are the good ones competing. There are others too, but they don’t do track.

    By the way. It’s a business. If no white wins sooner or later nobody will watch. Even if whites were slower, which they are not, monery would be pumped to find one and save the sport. Without Wariner I doubt I’d even watch track, and these organizations know it.

  12. I think you are right when you say that the more talented ‘white’ athletes who could run fatser are maybe not taking up athletics but rather doing other more high profile sports for their peer group such as football/rugby/tennis and others. So we are less likely to get the ‘best’ white athletes competing against the best ‘black’ athletes in competition.

    Personally I don’t care if the 100m world record is held by a black, white, purple or green athlete! But is is interesting to speculate as to why the sport seems to be dominated by athletes with a West African heritage…who happen to also have black skin (an important distinction!)

    The talk of performance enhancing drugs being a factor in the difference between black and white athletes doing well is franckly a red herring. I’m sure there are just as many white athletes taking drugs as there are black. We have instances of white spinters and other white athletes taking drugs as we do of black athletes. Many will remember David Jenkins a top english white sprinter who was caught using and supplying drugs on a large scale in the 1980’s…

    In my opnion the reasons for a dominance of ‘black’ spinters in the 100m and 200m is down to a variety of factors…

    1) Peer pressure and role models within the sport…attraction of football and other sports amongst white kids is greater than amongst black kids. Therefore the pool of fast white athletes to develop is smaller to begin with.

    2) Unconscious discrimination amongst coaches more likely to encourage a promising young white spinter to move up to 400m and 800m rather than continue with short spints after the junior stage. (I have seem this happen first hand)

    3) (maybe) A small genetic advantage in some West Africans that leads them to have a predisposition to sprint faster (muscle type etc)and a possible faster muscle development in young black kids which leads them to have a physical advantage at a younger age leading them to dominate the sport at junior level a time when coaches are on the look out for future talent to develop (see point 3).

    4) Better scounting and junior competion set up in those countries like Jamaica and USA where black athletes predominate.

    Which is these factors is more important is debateable but I don’t think any preclude the possibility of a non West African athlete competing at the highest level in the future.

    • I think you are right when you say that the more talented ‘white’ athletes who could run fatser are maybe not taking up athletics but rather doing other more high profile sports for their peer group such as football/rugby/tennis and others.

      I don’t think so. Sure there may be some, but most of the best sprinters would be picked out at school, and athletics is run at the end of the football/rugby season so doesn’t really interfere too much during school. Of course what happens after school or towards the end is a different matter, but by that time they would have been running in County Championships and so forth and picked out as good sprinters.

      But is is interesting to speculate as to why the sport seems to be dominated by athletes with a West African heritage…

      It isn’t really West African, although that seems to be a popular misconception, but rather sub-Saharan African. Frankie Fredericks for example was from Namibia, once part of South Africa. I’m sure that there would be more too, but those areas, outside of West Africa, are plagued by civil wars, poverty etc.

      Many West Indians are descended from Central Africans, rather than West Africans.

      I agree about drugs, it doesn’t make any difference as virtually everyone is on them.

      Many will remember David Jenkins a top english white sprinter who was caught using and supplying drugs on a large scale in the 1980’s…

      I remember David Jenkins, but he was Scottish, a small distinction I know but important as he was one of a long line of top, white Scottish sprinters. The most famous being Allan Wells but also Dougie Walker (also a drugs cheat) and Ian Mackie (PB 10.17s), proving that all white sprint teams, access to all the coaching and resources (there aren’t many blacks in Scotland) still don’t produce sub 10.1s performances.

      Another thing that Jenkins proves is that you never know who is on drugs. He was a hero and was never caught doing drugs, it was only later that he admitted taking them through his career. As Chambers said, the drugs cheats are always one step ahead of WADA.

      Take Linford Christie for example, was it really a mistake, or was it a case of the drugs he’d been taking throughout his career had finally come up on the WADA radar, and with him being in semi-retirement he hadn’t kept up?

      How many others successfully took drugs through their career, are now regarded as heroes but were in reality drugs cheats? Allan Wells? Borzov? (no doubt in my mind), Michael Johnson? We’ll never know.

      WADA should start taking regular blood tests, and then going back and checking them years later and erasing the cheats from the history books, rather than this stupid 3 year or 5 year or whatever it is rule we have now.

  13. I agree.

  14. “I remember David Jenkins, but he was Scottish, a small distinction I know but important as he was one of a long line of top, white Scottish sprinters. The most famous being Allan Wells but also Dougie Walker (also a drugs cheat) and Ian Mackie (PB 10.17s), proving that all white sprint teams, access to all the coaching and resources (there aren’t many blacks in Scotland) still don’t produce sub 10.1s performances.”

    Just because the spinters are white and can’t break 10.10 doesn’t mean that they are the best whites. It just means they were better than the best blacks. And whites are discouraged from the 100m even at the highschool level becasue it simply does not appeal to them the same way it does to blacks.

  15. I think you underestimate the effect that other sports has on keeping young white boys away from athletics. I have 3 kids who are involved in junior athletics and the number of pormising boys who are lost to football and rugby is incredible…yes the football and rugby seasons are in the winter and the athletics is mainly in the summer but the winter training that athletes do is very important and that clashes with Football rugby seasons also in the summer almost all the junior football teams carry on some sort of training and enter one day tournaments, which again clash with athletics meets. put together with a lack of facilities and coaches and role models within the sport and you soon see what a great disincentive there is for young white boys to take up athletics.

  16. Ramil Guliyev just ran 10.08 and he is white. The surname Guliyev is Russian, although he represents Azerbaijan. He is white as snow and 19 years old, just llike Lemaitre.

    • Thanks for the comment Jake, very interesting. I have to admit that I am a little surprised. His PB before that was 10.42s, so a bit of a jump in one season.

      I’ll have to keep my eye on him but this could well be just one of those freak times that never get repeated.

      Pickering ran a 10.24s, a few days ago, but that only puts him 7th so far and there are just four weeks left until the UK Championships.

  17. Dasaolu is injured though. Dwain can’t do the 4×1. And Craig always beats Edgar in the big races.

    That leaves Devonish, Williamson, Phiri, and Aryeety; Craig has to beat just one of these to make the 4×1 and if he beats Devonish or Williamson he will qualify individually.

    Watch out for Lemaitre to run a race like Guliyev soon. The taller white sprinters don’t have to run a sub 6.5 in the 60 to go sub 10.

  18. 10.08 Craig Pickering.


    • Yes he did, but it was windy so doesn’t count for anything.

      Still it was only just over the limit and quite impressive, he was unlucky with the wind. Had that stood he would be ranked No.2 for this year (in the UK). Maybe he can break 10.1s, but I am still doubtful over 10s. We’ll have to wait and see though, I believe he is running again in a couple of days.

      Bolt though, he looked unstoppable, may as well just give him his medal now.

  19. you were wrong about craig and admitted it just now. you said you were surprised when guliyev ran 10.08.

    craig ran 10.08 with a 2.1 m/s wind, virtually legal. he will go 9.98 this year

    • you were wrong about craig and admitted it just now.

      Not sure how you came to that conclusion, I said:

      if Pickering doesn’t beat his PB this year, he never will, he’s just a little too negative. A shame as he is capable of a sub 10.1s and therefore breaking the British white record, but he is his own worst enemy.

      I did say that he is capable of a sub 10.1s, but let’s be clear, nearly isn’t good enough. He still hasn’t run it, just proven what we already know – that he is capable.

      I still don’t see him running sub 10s, maybe, maybe he could reach 10.05s, but not sub 10. My other point also still stands, if he doesn’t break his PB this year, I don’t believe that he ever will.

      I was surprised by Guliyev, his PB went from 10.42s to 10.08s. Pickering’s is 10.14s, so a 10.08s is less of a surprise.

  20. Hey I just wanted to say a few words about the argument you two are having. It’s hilarious. I like it. It’s very good because neither have really great solid concrete evidence of either affliction.

    I do not have solid concrete evidence either, as science keeps moving forward finding new things, demolishing old ideas. What was thought to be ‘correct’ once is now a much different state.

    I do believe that a white man will break 10.oo seconds one day. Also, maybe even be competitive on a national level. There are anomalies every once in a while. And odds are it might hit it a white man. Who can say for sure?

    And performance enhancing drugs are just that, performance enhancing. I have heard the argument too many times and I’m sick of it. It allows you to train harder, longer, and more often, but you still have to put in the work. Sounds like it should be illegal to me. You certainly couldn’t train like that if you weren’t on them. Illegal all the way.

    The human race needs to really get more civilized and increase morals. We need to start thinking about our actions more. Yeah juice will make you win, but is a win through cheating as good as winning clean? Knowing that you won because you are talented and worked hard enough to do it without the aid of how much money you have? MORALS. . .

    Seeing the athletes on the line this year, and judging to see if one has got what it takes, I’d have to say no white man can break 10.00 seconds in the 100 meter dash this year.

  21. I agree with you that blacks are faster then just like I think whites have more bruth strength.
    But I think their are white men or wqill come in the future theat can break 10 in the 100 meters because matt shirvington already prrofed it I think with a 10.03 with a -0.1 wind.why wouldn’t their be a white that can run like matt shirvington with a 0.5 to 2.0 positive wind beacuse with that wind Matt shrirvngtons run would be sub 10.

  22. christophe lemaitre 10.04 european junior record. in your face dumbass.

    ramil guliyev 20.04 european junior record. again, go die.

    now that whites have proven they are almost as good or equal sprinters, and have far superior brute strength (see richard skog), and the heavyweight boxing and mma titles, and are the best swimmers, and the top 2 football players (one being ronaldo christiano); the argument that they aren’t athletic is in any aspect of sport laughable. oh yea, whites also win virtually all wars, from the ones without any weaponry to the best spacial cognition skills in gun combat.

    10 seconds. really. id bet lemaitre breakes 9.9 soon. is he an exception like shirvo too? what about ramil? or brock lesnar? or wlad klitschko? or michael phelps? a whole lot of exceptions, huh.

    • Jake said:

      christophe lemaitre 10.04 european junior record. in your face dumbass.

      Whilst that is quite an achievement, it still only makes him the second fastest white man ever, and it still isn’t under 10s.

      ramil guliyev 20.04 european junior record. again, go die.

      Excellent, but what does that prove? Several white men have been under 20s, so I am fairly unlikely to drop dead of shock at that. LeMaitre’s mark was more impressive.

      now that whites have proven they are almost as good or equal sprinters

      Almost? Come on, now you are talking bollocks. 10.04s is a mediocre mark for a top class international sprinter, indeed it barely places him in the top 20 for the season.

      Worse news is that both LeMaitre and Guliyev are at peak time for white sprinters – 19. Few white sprinters get new PBs much after their early 20s. That may prove as fast as either of them ever run.

      Nobody is talking about other sports, just sprinting, but if you really believe that two Ukrainian brothers reverse almost 90 years of black dominance in a sport, then you really are as crazy as you are coming across. The Klitchko’s are just a flash in the pan, unless Mrs Klitchko’s starts dropping more babies, things will return to normal once they have retired.

      oh yea, whites also win virtually all wars, from the ones without any weaponry to the best spacial cognition skills in gun combat.

      Now you’re just being silly. Vietnam, Afghanistan (Soviet Invasion), Korea mean anything to you? Or are you just counting the ones like the Zulu’s and the Matabele when whites had the best weapons?

      Ricahrd Skog is nothing special, many black athletes have done better than him. But we’re not talking about strength events, or swimming, we are talking sprinting. It seems more than a little hypocritical to me that you acknowledge that whites are better than blacks at some events, but won’t admit that blacks are better than whites at others. That smacks of racism.

      10 seconds. really. id bet lemaitre breakes 9.9 soon.

      Then you’ll loose your pocket money.

  23. Haha.

    Lemaitre is the second fastest sprinter ever for his age, and beat Dwain Chambers’s EJR. Both him and Guliyev are the European Junior Record holders, and you call them not elite?

    That just sounds silly. And I give Lemaitre 2 years before he breaks 9.9 at the most, maybe even 9.85. He will be the fastest European ever over Francis Obikwelu.

    And isn’t it kinda dumb that you argue the 10 sec barrier when Marian Woronin already broke it? 9.992 is under 10 seconds, except for when rounded up.

    Next time Lemaitre gets a good wind behind him he’s gonna break 9.95. 10 is what he does with no wind , lol.

    And it is not racist to assert whites are the best all-around athletes when they clearly are, especially in terms of coordination and brute strength. Speed is something that a new generation of taller sprinters are starting to redefine, and I’m sorry but some of them are white.

    • Jake,

      Lemaitre is the second fastest sprinter ever for his age, and beat Dwain Chambers’s EJR.

      That’s not quite true is it? Mark Lewis Francis ran 9.97 aged 19. Darrel Brown ran 10.01s aged 19. Jeffrey Demps ran 10.01s when he was 18, and there are others. And, as I was saying earlier, Matt Shirvington ran 10.03s aged 19 too.

      I have mentioned this before, perhaps not on this page, but white sprinters peak earlier than black sprinters.

      Shirvington ran his PB aged 19, Valeri Borzov and Nicolas Macrozonaris were 22, Johan Rossouw was 23. They are the four fastest ever white men (discounting LeMaitre). Craig Pickering also ran his PB aged 20. Compare that the the PBs of Lewis, Christie, Bailey, Bruny Surin and Frankie Fredericks who were all around 30.

      Both him and Guliyev are the European Junior Record holders, and you call them not elite?

      Because they are over a quarter of a second behind the fastest time of the year, and, in all likelihood, they are the best times either will ever run.

      And isn’t it kinda dumb that you argue the 10 sec barrier when Marian Woronin already broke it? 9.992 is under 10 seconds, except for when rounded up.

      Woronin never ran that time. He never ran under 10.1, except one time on his home track, when the wind gauge apparently read 2.0+ and he got 10.00s.

      Alan Wells, a contemporary of Woronin and someone who I would say was fairly well matched with him also ran a 10.00s flat. But he had a +6.8 wind! Wells also ran a 10.02s, but again with a +5.9 wind.

      Personally I think it was a faulty wind gauge and more like +6.0 or 7.0.

  24. Those were some of Well’s worse times though. He ran 10.11 with no wind, and 10.25 into a negative wind on a cold day. That would beat Asafa Powell.

    Woronin did run 9.992. This is well documented. And Lemaitre will challenge the European record.

    The two best sprinters in Europe as of now are Lemaitre and Guliyev. Both are white. And Id bet my pocket change on that any day. You’d be the only one too stupid to take that bet.

    • Woronin did run 9.992. This is well documented.

      You’re missing my point. I do not dispute that the time is official and documented, rather that it was legal. It is dubious to say the least, especially as he never ran under 10.1s again and as I said, Alan Wells a very similar athlete with similar times, only got near 10.00s with +6 or 7 winds.

      Take Matt Shirvington for example, he ran 10.03s, but he has also run 10.07s, and 10.09s. LeMaitre has likewise run consistently. Woronin ran 10.00s once, on his home track, and never got near it again.

      As I have mentioned elsewhere Woronin’s time takes away from the real fastest white men like Shirvington and now LeMaitre.

      Guliyev is in the top four fastest European sprinters, but Chambers and Simeon Williamson are ahead of him. And I am willing to bet that Williamson is the only one of the top four that breaks 10s this year.

      He ran 10.11 with no wind, and 10.25 into a negative wind on a cold day.

      He ran his 10.11s in Moscow with a +1.5m/s wind.

  25. “As I have mentioned elsewhere Woronin’s time takes away from the real fastest white men like Shirvington and now LeMaitre. ”

    I agree. And if Woronin could run 10 flat then you have to admit Lemaitre and Shirvo are sub 10 sprinters at their best. Shirvo did not have much room to improve as Lemaitre does though. Even Guliyev ha the potential to run in the 9.8’s like Lemaitre. Yohan Blake is really their only competition for their age group. By 2016, expect a white medal or two in the 100m. Also expect a sub 10 this year or the next. By the way Simone Collio ran 10.06. That is Collio, Guliyev Lemaitre, and almost Pickering all under 10.10.

    For someone who lives in GB you reaaly know nothing of how good Allen Wells was. Probably the last clean gold medallist too. Only Bolt and Bailey have not tested positive for PED’s after Wells, and they are both Jamaican. There was some PED use before Wells though. Mennea and Borzov are questionable, but no more than the 100m sprinters of today. You, like Americans, like to assume that the most talented sprinters are around today, and that is why whites are not competitive. This is common in GB and the US. But the exact opposite is used to say the Klitschko’s stink at boxing, and that it got worse. Lol. Wells was unbeatable decades ago, and if sprinting was clean he’d be unbeatable now. And by the way, he ran down Ben Johnson in that wind aided 10.02 you make fun of.

    • Shirvo did not have much room to improve as Lemaitre does though.

      Why? They were both 19 when they ran their times.

      For someone who lives in GB you reaaly know nothing of how good Allen Wells was

      I remember how good Wells was, but his PB was 10.11s when the world record was 9.95s. Compare that to Linford Christie who ran 9.87s when the WR was 9.86s. When Linford Christie, Calvin Smith and Carl Lewis came along, they were just in a different league. Christie broke Well’s British record in his early 20s.

      Sure he did beat a young Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and Linford Christie but he was in his 30s by that time, and they went on to bigger things.

      That said Wells was a top class white sprinter, after all his British white record still stands, 29 years later.

      You, like Americans, like to assume that the most talented sprinters are around today

      I think that you are confusing the 100m with football. Sure comparing footballer can be tricky, but with 100m sprinter it is pretty easy, it is a timed event. The fastest times = the best sprinters. ergo the best sprinters are around today.

      Of course the best British white sprinter was and still is Alan Wells.

      But the exact opposite is used to say the Klitschko’s stink at boxing, and that it got worse.

      I wouldn’t say that they stink, but there certainly is a lull in boxing. The days of Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Muhammed Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson are long gone and apart from Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield the Heavyweight division has seen a lack of greats.

      Sadly, like the Klitschko’s, Wells was around in something a lull in sprinting, the world record had stood since 1968. Everyone remembers those who followed, Lewis, Johnson, Christie etc, and even those before like Jim Hines, Borzov and Quarrie, but few remember those that Wells beat.

  26. poor old Craig has done this season’s dash judging by this past weekend. He is struggling and I just hope his best years aren’t behind him. His 10.08 was OK but really only worth a “still” 10.20 (worth maybe a 3rd place in the just completed Euro juniors), so he hasn’t replicated his best seasons of two/three years back.

    Collio’s 10.06 was a surprise though. We’ll have to wait and see it listed in the IAAF lists.

    It does seem strange that the two fastest white men on earth are 19. I’ll now wait and see how they compete in Berlin against the big boys

    • I agree about Pickering, and I don’t think that UK Athletics have really helped him, despite him beating Harry Aikines-Aryeetey twice, at the National Championships and again at Crystal Palace, they have made it clear that their relay squad includes Harry Aikines-Aryeetey rather than Pickering.

      That means that unless Pickering breaks the 10s barrier in the next week or so, he won’t be going to Berlin. He really hasn’t got anything to aim for this year, and with him ranked 7th on times this year (5th last year – 4th the year before that), he is in danger of just becoming an also ran.

      It doesn’t help that he doesn’t seem to handle it very well when things go wrong. Sadly, I think this may be the final high profile season for Pickering.

      Have to admit I am a bit suspicious of Collio. Up until two years ago he had never broken 10.2s. Last season his PB was 10.28s, but this year he runs 10.06s and a new PB, aged 29?

      Aged 19 his PB was 10.58s, so if LeMaitre improves like Collio, he will be breaking the WR in the next decade.

  27. “It doesn’t help that he doesn’t seem to handle it very well when things go wrong”

    yes, I’ve noticed that and maybe that’s the reason the other UK sprinters don’t seem talk to him much. Nothing to do with rascism but more to do with Pickering being a bit sullen and withdrawing into himself.

    Meanwhile our Aussie squad ran like crap in the CP relay. I can’t expect much else when the guys don’t run individually over there. Sally McLellan proved she has a winner’s head yet again.

    • I was impressed with Sally McLellan, she looked great and clearly put Lolo Jones off her stride (just like in Beijing) and she made Lolo look average at Crystal Palace.

      It’ll be an interesting final as judging by that race Lolo is likely to choke again.

  28. Actually, you cannot go by just times to say that Allen wells was not on the level of Christie or Lewis. First of all, mondo tracks are now the norm, and spikes are much better. Even spandex helps with the hip adductors and abductors for more explosive strength. Secondly, Allan Wells was clean. Linford Christie was not even a Brit, he was Jamaican. Christie tested positive for nandralone and pseudephedrine, a steroid and a stimulant. Lewis also tested positive for that same stimulant with his training partners. Remoind you of the Jamaicans? Much like how Simeon Williamson and Asafa Powell train together, and Usain Bolt, Daniel Bailey and Yohan Blake train together. Nothing suspicious at all. Allen wells was simply the last clean 100m Gold medaller, and he was white.

    And Lemaitre has a lot more to improve upon than Shirvington. Both are 19, but Lemaitre is 6’3″ and is shaving off time very fast. He has won every competition his age group has presented him with, and has destroyed them all except Guliyev and Blake. Shirvo was probably a 9.92 at best if he ever got a good wind. lemaitre has the potential to break 9.8. Maybe the first clean 9.8.

    I think Jason Gardner was the fastest clean brit. 9.97 I believe. Still, on much faster tracks than Wells.

    • First of all, mondo tracks are now the norm, and spikes are much better. Even spandex helps with the hip adductors and abductors for more explosive strength.

      I think that you are clutching at straws here. Firstly, the last major track change from cinder to tartan did not produce the massive changes in times that you seem to be inferring; and changing from cinder to tartan was a much bigger change than tartan to mondo.

      In 1964 Bob Hayes recorded a time of 10.06s in the last Olympic 100m to be run on cinder tracks. The WR was 10.00s. In 1968, and despite it being run at altitude, the winning time was 9.95s, in 72 it was 10.14s.

      There was no major leap in times from cinder to tartan, just like there wasn’t one from tartan to mondo.

      Besides which, Moscow had a Mondo track, so Wells had run on Mondo tracks.

      As for spikes, Wells would need rockets not spikes to gain the extra quarter of a second he would need to compete with Christie and Lewis. The fact is, good as Wells was, he was in the end – white and so in a different league.

      You’re also assuming that Wells was clean, there have been plenty of other white Scottish cheats, take Dougie Walker for instance.

      You’re also assuming that LeMaitre is clean. The fact is, we have no idea who is clean and who isn’t anymore.

  29. Linford Christie used steroids.
    Carl Lewis tested pos. for PEDs.
    Ben Johnson used steroids.
    Justin Gatlin used teroids.
    Maurice Greene used steroids.
    Donovan Bailey and Usain Bolt are Jamaican, like Ben Johnson and Linford Christie…

    Allan Wells never tested pos. for anything. He beat all comers in 1980. He is the fastest clean man in history, and I’d bet Lemaitre just passed him for that record. I would say Shirvo used to be ahead of Wells for that record but both Wells and Lemaitre can also run the 200; same with Guliyev.

  30. Lemaitre’s form *looks* terrible. It’s tough to watch him run.

    But, as MJohnson proved, running just like everyone else is not the optimal style for every individual.

    If he cleans up that wasted motion, he can certainly be in the 9.95-10.00 range this year.

    Talk of him one day taking the WR is, of course, really preemptive. The gap between 10.00 and 9.69 (or whatever the WR becomes this year – 9.65? 9.60? 9.58??) is staggering. Bolt is so head-and-shoulders-and-everything above the rest that it’s silly to talk about anyone matching him at the moment.

    Just as any sprinter under 10.5 is an outlier (when compared to the majority of runners in history), and anyone under 10.1 is an outlier among outliers, and under 10.oo an outlier among outliers among outlier, etc.

    Bolt is currently the ultimate outlier. He’s a 1 in 6 billion specimen.

    That’s why I think the whole ethnicity thing is a trap that’s not of much practical use for any sprinter, black or white or pacific islander or whatever, currently competing.

    Your chances of running under 10 seconds, no matter what race you are, are pretty infinitesimal.
    If they are statistically more unlikely because of your skin color

    (and I want to make it clear that I’m not castefootball-material – if you’re of West African descent, you’ve got a better chance)

    , well, you’re aiming to be an exception to an exception to an exception anyway. Just run.

  31. world champs just run, and only Tsukahara showed form and competitive nous, although even he messed up the semi.
    Lemaitre, while looking raw and untrained, showed good speed but couldn’t handle the pressure Rodger’s false start put on him.
    No other white sprinter should have been there.. they are closer to the top women in times than they are to the top guys.
    How could anyone not of west african sub saharan descent have any confidence at all when
    even the 10 second (9.99+) sixth and seventh placegetters were nearly 5 metres in arrears.

    • Very disappointing in terms of white sprinters, if people like Collio can’t pull it off at the World Championships, when can they? Shame about Lemaitre but he’s only 19.

      I continue to be impressed with the Japanese sprinters, and agree about Tsukahara.

  32. blacks are jus better athletes get over it

    • Thanks for commenting dave, but I don’t think that is true. They may be better 100m runners, or even sprinters, but not better athletes. You don’t see many blacks in triathlons, or black strongmen.

      I think it is a case of horses for courses, some events blacks are better at, some whites, some Asians. There is no ‘Master Race’

  33. that’s a very kind response to the thought out intelligent reasoning belonging to “Dave” , Charlie

  34. Sally McLellan’s back strain (from a training mishap 11 days back) sure put paid to her hurdle hopes.
    Nothing too serious, but one of those spasm type tightening reactions where someone else has to pull you from your bed in the morning.
    It was enough to counteract some of that explosive start and thus some of the confidence.
    She clipped the final hurdle while desperately searching for more speed and that let the Irish girl lift one place to 4th….a PB, & good for her.

    Isn’t “track” an odd creature? She wins a silver at the Olympics while largely unheralded (& partially due to Lolo’s stumble) then she gets a hiccough going into the worlds while being slight favourite.

    • Was disappointed for McLellan, cheered her on as an underdog in Beijing and really thought that she’d win this year, but that’s hurdles. A little bit of bad luck takes you from 1st to out of the medals. I suppose she now knows how Lolo Jones felt (who has also had some really bad luck this year too).

      It’ll be an interesting race in Zurich.

      O’Rourke did very well, she was leading till about hurdle 4 and for a brief moment I really thought she might win it!

  35. I don’t see many whites going into the sprints from now on and there are a multitude of reasons for this.

    We have been taught en masse that (west african sub saharan) blacks are naturally better sprinters. It’s true, but not to the extent these “worlds” would have you believe.

    There are far more lucrative sports, from both social and remunerative perspectives.

    There are few white ambassadors for the sprints; very few role models….no Wells, no Borzovs, no Menneas.

    Most of the population don’t give a toss about running fast for its own sake anyway…. why would running a fast 100m get the general public’s imagination (apart from when it’s overhyped leading up to a major comp)? It’s just a little aside tacked onto life.

    I think Lemaitre may go sub 10 one day, but so what? That’s up to 5 metres behind Bolt. The “this’ll be tough” attitude now becomes “why bother”

    Matt Shirvington was talking on ;local radio the other day and when asked if he’d like to contemplate a comeback he just laughed ” not any time soon”

    • I suppose it is the same for all sprinters now whilst Bolt is running, the next fastest man is 0.13s behind him. What motivation is there when you are only running for silver? Like tonights 200m final, does anyone realistically think anyone else will win gold?

      But you’re right about white sprinters. They are still chasing the 10.00s barrier, which in modern sprinting is meaningless when it is half a second behind the winner.

      I think that there is a lot of pressure for white sprinters to move to other events (Trey Harding for example in the Decathlon must have been a pretty decent sprinter and British long jumper Greg Rutherford), that pressure will now only increase from all sides. ‘Why Bother?’ is right, I remember seeing an interview with Craig Pickering in which he complained about how little he earned, no one wants to go into a sport that doesn’t pay well anyway, and be an also ran.

  36. I’ve just jotted down Shirvo’s progression in the 100metres. He did three sub 10.10s, all slightly negative wind, in 1998 alone plus a 10.11. He then did a sub 10.10 in 2003, so his career was quite a long one too. That’s why I maintain he is the fastest white man yet.
    No one-offs, just legal tailwinds or hometown judges here.

    2008 10.35 -0.20 Melbourne 21/02/2008
    2007 10.28 1.80 Salamanca 04/07/2007
    2006 10.26 1.70 Canberra 26/01/2006
    2005 10.32 1.10 Perth 22/01/2005
    2004 10.33 1.30 Perth 10/01/2004
    2003 10.09 1.20 Runaway Bay 12/04/03
    2002 10.19 1.80 Osaka 11/05/2002
    2001 10.11 1.90 Perth 04/03/2001
    2000 10.11 -0.30 Sydney 18/08/2000
    1999 10.07 -0.60 London 07/08/1999
    1998 10.03 -0.10 Kuala Lumpur 17/09/98
    1997 10.29 1.10 Sydney 11/10/1997

    • I always think that it is a shame that Matt Shirvington didn’t fulfill his potential, but then again looking at his times, maybe he did and we were all just expecting too much. I don’t really blame him for not wanting to come back, he’s got nothing to prove and nothing to gain by making a comeback.

      I agree that he is the fastest ever white man; I am not sure Woronin really ran that 10s. Shirvington is the only white man to have gone sub 10.1s more than once which is far more important in my opinion than running a 10s flat, just once, which can be put down to fluke or a good tailwind.

      Lemaitre has done well but he’ll have to run sub 10.1 again before I start thinking that he may top Shirvington as the fastest white man.

      • Important here is E-timing, I think.

        Athletics is so hard to evaluate across eras because of training, nutrition, PEDs, track surfaces, etc. Relying on raw numbers doesn’t tell the whole story.

        Is Monzaveous (sp) Edwards a “greater” 100 meter runner just because he’s in the neighborhood of .3 faster than Jesse Owens? Of course not, you have to put times in the context of the era.

        But to what extent to we follow this?

        Do we assume that Owens would be running with the elites or super-elites of this era? (I would classify Bolt, Gay, and Powell as the only super-elites in the 100m).

        Some would, some wouldn’t.

        How about Bobby Morrow? David Sime? Charlie Paddock, Eddie Tolan, Barney Ewell?

        Armin Hary, the first man of any color to run 10.00h?
        Bob Hayes? (for what it’s worth [whihc isn’t much], I think Hayes would be at the super-elite today)

        Owens and Morrow basically ran before the steroid era began in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

        Mennea, Borzov, Jim Hines, Charlie Greene, Eddie Hart, ran after the steroid era began. Their times might be considered roughly equivalent and were at an elite level when they ran.
        Would they be elite right now?

        It’s hard to tell. Mennea and Borzov were on something. Reason and evidence (see the Dubin Inquiry) tells us that PED usage was not constricted to just these twos or just Europeans in general. How does that factor in?

        Maybe Shirvington is the best white sprinter of the electronic era.

        Bolt is certainly the “greatest” sprinter of the electronic era in some respects (these sorts of categories are built on our pre-conditions – most sub10s? Powell and Maurice Greene. Most wins? Carl Lewis. etc).

        How does Bolt compare to Hayes? How can we tell?
        How does Shirvington compare to Hary or Morrow or Owens or Tolan for that matter?

        It takes a lot of work to even get started here.

        Love to hear others thoughts.

  37. You want to hear my thoughts? I’m done with the 100/200 meter. From now on Bolt has tainted the event, it is stripped of any meaning. The only sprint I will ever watch again is the 400m. Even Buth Reynolds and probably Michael Johnson were dirty in that. Sprinting no longer has meaning. Good riddins. I’m just watching dec/ field events, and the 400m. Fuck it.

    • Carl, Ben, Borzov, Mo Greene, Christie, Dennis Mitchell, Justin Gatlin, Mennea, Borzov etc. all took PEDs.

      Look at what Usain did relative to his competition.

      Even if he were dirty (I’m not saying he is – I’m saying IF he were found dirty), it would mean he was better than everyone else ever by a mile.

      The problem with caste-footballers is they act like black sprinters are the only ones who’ve ever been doping.

      The Soviets and East and West Germans dominated track and field in their day. They had sophisticated drug programs to help them.

      The realities of international track and field are

      that a lot of politicking goes into people being “busted” or not.
      The people who set up athlete’s drug plans (coaches, scientists, doctors) understand the clearance time of the various drugs they provide the athletes.
      Many many many many more athletes than are initially caught via urine testing are using – this by admission of the athletes themselves after retirement.

      Remember, Ben Johnson was on steroids for 6 or 7 years of top-competition before he was caught.

      Bolt did not “taint” the 100 or 200. The drug culture existed in those events from before his birth.
      He has run faster than anyone else, ever, including people who we KNOW were taking MASSIVE amounts of steroids.

      So if we’re feeling charitable, we say innocent until proven guilty. That means he is clean and redefined human performance and is miles ahead of everyone.

      If we’re not feeling charitable and say “he must be on something”, he’s STILL miles ahead of everyone, including those who benefited from massive, state-run steroid plans. Do the people who are convinced he is dirty believe he is simply taking *more* steroids than anyone else ever has and that’s why he’s better?

      That’s not how it works.

      • I agree. You have to assume that everyone at the top level is taking drugs, but Bolt is still so far ahead of them. Either he is taking something else that no one else knows of, or he is just naturally more talented than anyone else.

        I have to admit though Jake, that I thought the same after watching the 200m. It is kind of pointless watching a 100/200m now if he is in it. He has removed the competition element of it. Still, people said the same about Johnson (wouldn’t a Johnson and Bolt era have been great?), but he did get beat, occasionally.

  38. yes, fair !
    I hope he is simply the best sprinting machine there has ever been and that’s he’s clean.He’s a likeable enough kid.
    If down the track he’s shown to have cheated, he’s still the best sprint machine there has ever been.

    • That’s another point. The reason that he may be so far ahead could well be because he is the first clean sprinter in more than a generation.

      We are certainly seeing a lot of physically different sprinters winning medals, no longer the beefed up, steroid pumping athletes of a decade ago. Alison Felix for one, Lemaitre, many more. Lithe may be the way to go, rather than the traditional muscle on muscle (and that’s just the women).

      Perhaps someone should tell Areyeetey before it’s too late.

  39. a little prediction here….and I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see Craig Pickering doing this till the London Olympics. Maybe he will but the plan would be to get out in 2012.
    And these next three years are going to be very tough for him.

    For those who think he’s been hampered by “bad breaks”, how will anything change? He’ll get minimal attention/ funding from his federation, there are an increasing number of Jamaican/Brit kids who’ll have Usain as a role model, kids full of youth and zeal who’ll rise up to challenge him, and he’ll probably be qualified to work in his chosen field by then. Why stay and beat your head against a wall.

    What are the thoughts out there.

    • I agree about Pickering, he didn’t even get a run out with the relay team which just about tops off a very bad year for him.

      He’s gone from the golden boy of British sprinters to an also ran in just a couple of years and he isn’t getting any faster. I think if he drops down the rankings next season (he’s 7th this season), he’ll quit athletics, or just slowly fade away.

      A shame but as you say, why beat your head against a brick wall? He could switch events, but looking at his PBs, there is no event really that he could switch to, he’s not been under 21s in the 200m, but he hasn’t run it for 2 years and has a pretty decent 150m time this year.

      I think that unless he has a great season next year, he’ll end up getting a proper job.

  40. Important here is E-timing, I think.Is Monzaveous (sp) Edwards a “greater” 100 meter runner just because he’s in the neighborhood of .3 faster than Jesse Owens? Of course not, you have to put times in the context of the era.

    I don’t know, I think that comparing times gives a pretty good idea of how good they were, but comparing times in yards is probably a better way. As far as I know most of the yard tracks are still cinder tracks and give a much better comparison.

    Jesse Owens for example ran 9.4s in the 100 yards, the then world record. Allowing for the fact that it was hand timed, it makes about 9.64s auto. Don Quarrie ran 9.2s hand timed (9.37s auto), I believe Armin Hary ran 9.1s hand timed, (which I think is the fastest ever by a white man), even though Quarrie ran his PB 15 years after Hary.

    You can also see the difference in the long jump. Jesse Owens PB was 8.13m, that was just short of the qualifying mark for the final this year. Not much (or at least far less) has changed in the long jump since Owens time, compared to the sprints.

    Bob Hayes best hand timed 100 yards was 9.1s, ergo Hayes was faster than Owens, even if you factor in starting blocks. Hayes best auto timed 100 yards
    was 9.35s.

    However the world record for the 100 yards (if such a thing exists) is held by Linford Christie and stands at 9.30s, not far off Bob Hayes best, but their 100m bests were 10.06s (Hayes) 9.87s (Christie). I have to admit, Hayes would probably be able to compete today on modern tracks, Owens however, would not. Bobby Morrow, had a 100 yard PB of 9.3 (again hand timed – approx 9.54s auto), so even though he was a contempory of Hary, Hary was the faster by some way.

    Comparing 100 yards times seems to put a lot of the athletes around the same sort of mark, 9.1s (hand timed – 9.34s auto), everyone from Armin Hary and Bob Hayes to Jim Hines and Harry Jerome (9.2s) right through to Linford Christie, Jon Drummond and Andre Cason all seem to be around the same sort of mark. Admittedly the most recent of these times are from 15 years ago but they are the most recent 100 yards times that I could find.

    On paper (or modern tracks) Christie should have run 9.03s, Cason’s and Drummond’s 9.07s, but all have a difference of about a quarter of a second between what they should have run, and what they did. Doing the same with say Asafa Powell (pure guesswork of course) gives him a 8.91s 100 yard (9.18s with quarter second added). Worryingly that puts Bolts 100 yard time at 8.76s (9.03s with the quarter second added).

    I’d day that with the right training, diets, supplements etc, the sprinters of 40 or so years ago could compete with the super elites of 15 years ago, but not so much today.

    You mentioned training, nutrition and modern tracks, but I would also suggest that competition plays a part in it. Jesse Owens jumped 8.13m for a new world record, but that was all he needed to jump, if the record had been 8.50m, would he have jumped farther? I don’t know much about the Olympic’s games in 1896, but presumably all the records started at zero, so unlike football and other sports, there is something to build on each year with athletics. So were the athletes in the 1920s and 30s running that fast because that was all they needed to, and because that was what they had trained for, or because that really was fast as they could ever go?

    Personally I’d give more weight to competition and expectation than anything else. Had Jesse Owens competed in the long jump yesterday he’d have finished 6th by 1936 standards, but I think he’d have gone much farther than that 1936 jump because of the competitive nature of mankind.

    As an aside to something that we were talking about before, Jeremy Wariner ran his PB aged 22 and it doesn’t look like he will get close to it again even though he is only 25.

    • Wariner definitely screwed the proverbial pooch last year by leaving Clyde Hart (in an Olympic year?!?) over money issues.

      They’re back together and hopefully will be able to regain that form. The 100 and 400 are such different animals that I don’t know if we can compare peak ages in the same way. The WR was set by Johnson at age 32, when he was no longer a 19.32 runner (still probably under 20.00 however).

      Wariner is a 20.30 runner. He came into Baylor at about that speed and Hart did what he does with all his 400 guys – get fast guys and squeeze as much Speed Endurance out of them as he can.

      Unless Wariner improves his 200 speed substantially, I don’t know if we can expect much lowering of his PB. But that’s not even his issue right now – he needs to get back to where he was before. His leg on the 4×4 was impressive and maybe that’s a sign of things to come.

      I’m happy for Lashawn Merritt. He seems like a much scrappier competitor than Wariner.

  41. here’s link to the 4 x 400m in Berlin.
    It’s interest lies mainly in how Wariner runs his leg (starting at 4.30 on the clip).
    Unpressed to beat Merritt and with nothing to prove he runs a stupendous second 200. His split was 43.6 compared to Merritt’s next best of 44.2.
    He can still run just as fast as ever.

    • Thanks for the link Stevecro, but it links to Carmelita Jeter’s 100m run of 10.64s. Although it was very interesting; I saw her run at Thessalonica and couldn’t believe her improvement from Berlin, but she got even faster and only aged 29!


    is this the same result… the posted link brings up the mens 4 x 400 for me…how strange!
    however you get the same result you can scroll down the right hand side and it’ll be there

  43. if it doesn’t work properly scroll one quarter down the rh side.
    3rd best split of the event was Kevin Borlee’s 2nd leg for Belgium which was overshadowed by Wariner but very fast at 44.4. He took them from last to a close fourth

  44. Alyson felix does look very natural,but it could well be there are new drugs that have the same effect as steroids,but without the obvious bulk.A new type of human growth hormone,perhaps?Isnt she trained by bobby kersee?im sure he and other well known coaches feed wierd drugs to his charges.His wife,jackie joyner looked somewhat like a man.Jeremy wariner is slim,but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken something.
    Its not just the sprint events that are riddled with drugs.How do we know the african distance runners are clean? we don’t,and we probably never will.I love track and field,but i find it very hypocritical.When the chinese women came from nowhere,and broke distance records,there was an outcry,but todays kenyan and ethiopian men and women all run superhuman times yet no suspicion is just as suspicious of kenisa bekele,and the other ethiopians and moroccans,as i was about the chinese.
    I dont think the cheats will ever be caught.Remember ana guevara,the mexican?either she had an intersex condition,or she was an obvious example of a drug cheat.Women dont usually have prominant adam’s apples,and deep voices like hers and she was never caught.As for bolt,hes the male flo jo,or marion jones………and look what happened to them……..

  45. I came across an Australian Patrick Johnson that ran 9.93. On Wikipedia it says he’s not of African descent but it looks like he is. Just thought I would bring it up.

  46. Why can’t you people stick to one subject at a time? When you speaking athletics, stick to athletics, don’t just to politics and Americanism. Take note, Ben Johnson, was a Canadian of Jamaican Parentage. Marian Jones and all the others were American. Bolt is an pure nappy head Jamaican. We use Yam, Dasheen and Tannia. That’s our steroids. You eat KFC hormone injected chickens. I am tired of you all…hope you all don’t try to spite bolt. Haterz

  47. Johnson’s 2nd best is actually a 10.05 achieved in the semi , the same day he ran 9.93 according to footage I have.
    Has a sprinter’s career peak ever been so sharply delineated.

    • hmmm! haters eh? don’t see any evidence of that…Bolt’s the greatest there’s ever been. And I hope to hell he proves clean over the years.
      But I would love to see Lemaitre break all the stereotypical rubbish because it’ll bring more interest to “track”. We who love the sprints don’t want to see the general public thinking sprinting is only a “black” thing which is what has been happening.

  48. Christophe Lemaitre’s 10.03 (0.6) today has convinced me he will go under that arbitrary 10.000 mark. My pick would be high 9.8’s eventually.
    His three top legal times at 19 stand at 10.03, 10.04(0.2) and 10.09 (1.0) and throw in the cold 15C, damp, minus 2.2 wind for 10.24 three weeks ago. And no-one has been within cooey of him in any of them.
    Then again, let’s hope the pressure of having worthy challengers doesn’t bring him undone at big meets. He has already dq’d in the 2nd round at Berlin.

  49. ohoh! AND he just dq’d again with no athlete expected to beat him, just the growing expectation of a sub 10. It’s starting to play on his mind unfortunately

  50. 10.02 for Christophe, a chest depth behind Chambers. He knows he can cover ground a little faster than Chambers now (based on the last 20 ) and that must be a confidence boost.

    The Euros should be interesting but we all know the unexpected can happen

  51. Euro leader again!
    9.98, a natural progression.
    The monkey should be off his back now. I expect he’ll break 10 several times in the future.
    He can run relaxed now and the times will (sometimes) come.
    Poor old Shirvo thought he had to break 10 every time he stepped onto the track… expectations destroyed him psychologically I think. Lemaitre has naturally high top speed which will always claw back ground

  52. Wow. I must say I am surprised. I did not expect to see it so soon. I would like to see him in the Olympic final one day. Luck be with him.

  53. Florence Griffith-Joyner, FLO JO

  54. I believe Bolt’s ability is drug free, and is due to his training and 6’5” frame. Simple physics. Longer legs mean longer strides. What other sprinters have been that tall?

    • Thanks for commenting JohnUSA.

      “Longer legs mean longer strides. What other sprinters have been that tall?”

      No one as tall, but most sprinters are tall. Lemaitre is 6’3″, Powell is also 6’3″, Carl Lewis 6’3″ and Linford Christie was 6’2″. I could be wrong but I believe Andre Cason is the smallest man to run under 10s, standing 5’5″

      At the end of the day, even if Bolt is on drugs, his achievements are incredible as at least some of the other sprinters are on drugs too.

  55. “I believe Bolt’s ability is drug free, and is due to his training and 6’5” frame. Simple physics. Longer legs mean longer strides.”

    I think he may be clean too. Hope he is since he’s the best of all time.
    Longer legs don’t always correspond to longer strides though. The stride (as in actual ground covered between footfalls) is very much dependent on things like range of joint motion and power of toe-off. Longer strides are often slower strides simply because of (physics again) leverage/gearing. It needs heaps of power to get them going fast efficiently.
    I don’t bank on seeing a 7 foot sprinter any time soon in a 100m, but it does look like 6’2″ – 6’5″ with other prerequisite physical tools may be the optimum

  56. Still the debate rages. Society expects winners, and Industries e.g.; competitive sports, demand higher standards from participants. Is it any wonder those involved resort to artificial boosters.

  57. It looks like his training partner Blake has the best of him this season over both events. Now that he has run a near Bolt time in the 200 and should do one in the 100 will people still think Bolt is a natural freak?(I don’t)

    • Thanks for commenting.

      Blake does raise interesting questions. For example, if we are to believe that Jamaica really is an athletic powerhouse, why wasn’t until 1989 before the first Jamaican broke the ten second barrier? and also why was the Jamaican national record just 9.96s up until 2004? At the same time, the world record was 9.78s. It is also worth noting that both of the above were achieved by the same man, Ray Stewart, a man whose record stood for 13 years and a man who has recently been banned from athletics for life for obtaining banned substances for athletes he trains.

      Take away Bolt, Blake and Powell and we literally only have Ray Stewart as a world class Jamaican sprinter in the past 30 years. Yet, we seem to accept that now Jamaica can suddenly just plop them off a production line?

      I still think Bolt is a freak, and a class above, however after seeing Blake run that 19.26s last year and improve his 100m time so much this year, I admit that that view was somewhat tested. Blake’s remarkable progression does make me quite suspicious.

  58. What is clean? Is science and technology only allowed in the “external”? Who makes the rules for what is legal for the athlete? Would Allan Wells beat Bolt if either were running bare feet on grass at their peak? Would Ben Johnson beat anyone if the track was not a plastic or rubber compound? Huge amounts of money and r&d are spent on external resources, like the frikkin track n shoes. Somebody says u cant treat the body the same way. Olympic records are only valid if the same technology is used occasion in occasion out. And obviously that is not the case. Go ben go.

    • I think that the point you are missing is that advances in track and shoe technology are available to all, whereas the secret and illegal drugs taken by cheaters give advantage only to themselves.

      Moreover it isn’t just a case that drugs are banned because it gives an unfair advantage, although that is the primary reason, but also because athletes will go to extreme lengths to win. One only needs to look at the East German athletes of the 1980s to see what drugs did to their bodies, it turned many of them into freaks, as is evident by the fact that most of the records from those days still stand today. Florence Griffith Joyner was also rumoured to be on drugs, and retired as soon as mandatory out of competition testing was introduced. She died aged just 38, she may, or may not have been on drugs, and drugs may or may not have caused her early demise, we’ll never know because we don’t know what damage long term drug use does, for obvious reasons, long term drug dependency is discouraged everywhere, let alone on the track. A sport that encouraged athletes to dope up to win, wouldn’t last long.

      The East Germans didn’t share their drug routine with anyone else, as they wanted to win, so why would anyone else? Besides, do you really want to see athletics become a battle of pharmaceutical companies? Where it is the company who can produce the most amazing compound that gives the athletes an advantage regardless of effects both long term and short term, rather than natural ability of the athlete?

      I do agree however that changes in track, shoe and timing technology as well as changes in distance make it impossible to determine if athletes today are really that much faster than their predecessors or whether technology has swept them along.

      As a basis for comparison, Jesse Owens won the 100m in the 1936 Olympics with a time of 10.3s (equivalent to 10.54s today). Bolt won in 9.63s in 2012, almost a second faster 76 years later. Owens would have been lucky to make it through the heats today.

      Yet in the long jump Jesse Owens winning jump was 8.06m in the same Olympics. In 2012 it was 8.31m by Greg Rutherford, Jesse Owens’ jump would have gotten him into the finals and have gained him seventh had he jumped that today, and put him just outside of the medals (indeed he would have had a similar position in the last five Olympics).

      The question is why has sprinting advanced so much, yet other events like the long jump, haven’t advanced nearly as much yet supposedly today’s athletes are so much better than they were?

  59. You place yourself up there Charlie – what would you know? Were you ever really in the know about just what might have been required for Ben Johnson to compete at that level? Every twitch fibre ready – floating on air – he had the talent and trained exceptionally hard – took him 11 years under Charlie Francis. Anobolic steroids are a training drug, used to aid recovery and the like. They allow athletes to train to the max. Cheating? The first Olympics had athletes eating sheep’s testicles to gain an advantage. What’s changed? Countries place unrealistic qualifying times for Olympic athletes – they’ve trained all their lives – do they want it or don’t they want it? Many others already have the advantage. They probably don’t stop to think ” Oh Charlie might think I’m a cheat” – Ben Johnson was the greatest sprinter – ever !! Pity he was cut down in the prime of his career – the world can judge but he did it, despite all the pressure and Carl Lewis mania. All those who stand in judgement need to check their own standards. And I would love to see it all natural – ain’t ever going to happen in most sports – that’s the fact

    • If we followed your own, clearly low, standards then men’s athletics would be like the women’s. All the world records already recorded and unbroken for nigh on 30 years, all held by Eastern Europeans (or a heavily doped up American) and all achieved through a state sponsored drugs program. Is that how you’d like to see athletics, not a battle of athletes, but a battle of who has the best drugs program and the least regard for the well-being of the athlete?

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