By Elliot Mathye
It seems like most athletes in the United States of America cannot perform without some influence. This after a spate of athletes were either suspended for using drugs or admitting on substance usage on the track.
Those with very good memory will remember how Marion Jones was stripped off her world record titles after she lied to federal investigators about steroid use. Jones served a period six months in prison in 2008 for the charge. In an interview with The Associated Press today, Jones said she wishes she could go back and change “certain things in her past,” though she is also “really proud” of the person she has become. “I really wish I wouldn’t have lied. That’s my regret”, she said.
Apart from Jones, three more athletes were tested for drug abuse in the track and they failed their tests. They include former US 200 metres champion Ramon Clay who has been suspended for two years for using steroids and other banned substances from 2000-04. He will lose that title and be disqualified from all competitive results since 2000, the date he first committed the anti-doping.
During the Delhi commonwealth games which were held in India recently, another athlete and more tested positive to steroid use. Rani Yadav, who placed sixth in the women’s 20km walk, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, becoming the third anti-doping violator of the Games after 110m hurdler Samuel Okon, and women’s 100m gold medallist Osayemi Oludamola, both Nigerians, tested positive for stimulants.
While U.S athletes are being suspended off the race tracks, things are also not looking good for South African “golden Girl”, Caster Semenya. She is finding it hard to get sponsors despite being an 800metrs world world champion. Semenya, who is studying towards a sports science degree at the University of Pretoria, pulled out of the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi because of a back injury.
Although she receives help from Nike while the Department of Sports and Recreation and the University of Pretoria help out with her education, there isn’t spare money for her. South Africans have not stopped supporting Semenya and one should not rule her out in the upcoming competitions next year. Go girl!