The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Haile's record

Coming from a cycling background, and having ridden at a reasonably high level, I tend to look at world record breakers a little askance. For me it's show me you're clean of drugs. This can be by inviting journalists to follow you for a month (like cyclist Bradley McGee did), it can also be done by pushing for more drug testing, signing anti-doping statements, training at altitude and/or using an altitude tent, and most importantly, never associating with drug-linked coaches, althetes, teams, managers and management companies. It sounds like a tough call, but clean athletes manage to do it.

This time last year the German Athletics Federation filed a criminal complaint against high-profile Dutch agent Jos Hermens and Doctor Miguel Anguel Peraita, a Spanish doctor connected to doping allegations.

Hermens was Haile's manager. It was alleged that Hermens sent Haile and Kenenisa Bekele to Anguel Peraita. Hermens was also linked to Bekele's fiance, Alem Techale, who died mysteriously and was allegedly buried without an autopsy.

I've seen all this before in cycling. Riders drop dead at 18, 19, 20 far too often.

I obviously know far too little about this situation to make any comment on it except that personally, I'm not excited about this world record time. In fact, I feel a bit sad and scared - both for Haile and the athletes who are trying to beat him.

On a similar note, I see Dynepo was detected in cyclist Michael Rassmussen's blood in samples taken during the Tour de France - but Dynepo hasn't been banned yet because it's made of human EPO. Now there's a test for it, it must be banned. As it stands athletes can legally take this stuff to set world records.

I know this is a touchy subject, and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. But these are my own personal feelings about the record.

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