Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Rules support loss of medals for Cox’s U.S. relay team


Rules in place at the time of the 2004 Olympics make it increasingly likely all members of the U.S. women’s 4×400 metres relay team will lose their gold medals because of last week’s doping suspension of alternate Crystal Cox.

Rule 39.2 of IAAF Competition Rules 2004-2005, which governed athletics participation at the Athens Games, clearly calls for the loss of medals if a team member violates anti-doping rules. 

“Where the athlete who commits an anti-doping rule violation … is a member of a relay team, the relay team shall be automatically disqualified from the event in question, with all resulting consequences for the relay team, including the forfeiture of all titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money,” the rule, which applies to alternates, states.

Cox was suspended for four years and all of her results since 2001 were disqualified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for using prohibited anabolic agents and hormones over a period from 2001 through 2004, USADA said.

Bekele deserves to beat Bolt as male athlete of the decade


World record holders and Olympic champions Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva have been named athletes of the decade by the American magazine Track & Field News.

Russia’s Isinbayeva is an obvious choice with her 27 women’s pole vault world records but the selection of Bekele, the Ethopian distance runner, might have casual followers of athletics wondering why not Usain Bolt?

Ohuruogu to train with Bolt group in warm Jamaica


ATHLETICS-WORLD/British Olympic and Commonwealth Games 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu is escaping the cold weather of London for the next three weeks to work in Jamaica with Usain Bolt’s training group, the Racers Track Club.

“I have never been to Jamaica before and am very excited about the trip,” Ohuruogu said in a statement. “Jamaican athletics is very strong at the moment and I want to go and experience their passion and excitement first hand.”

Five defining moments from a decade of sport


As the decade draws to a close, we pick five sporting moments which have defined the last 10 years.

1. Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a Games set in a country which embraces the outdoor life and punches well above its weight in most sports.

Usain Bolt: ultimate pace bowler


Usain Bolt has long said that his first sporting love was cricket and earlier this year he caused a stir at Sabina Park in Jamaica when he turned up for the first test match against England. But, until Sunday, no-one knew if the fastest man in the world was any good with a bat or ball in his hand.

Bolt was invited to play in a charity tournament organised by West Indies opening batsman and fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle and according to some of the players I talked to had been talking a good game before putting his pads on.

Let’s identify those who’ve doped to make the booing fair


chambersBritish sprinter Dwain Chambers played the role of pantomime villain at the world championships, suffering some pretty half-hearted boos from some of the crowd unhappy at his doping past and his bid to overturn the British Olympic Association’s bylaw banning all convicted dopers from the Games.

Chambers, who served a two-year ban from 2003 and confessed to his “crime”, has also been absent from most of the big European meetings this year thanks to a decision of the cartel of organisers not to invite him.

Lightning Bolt strikes again



Usain Bolt repeated his 100m record-breaking feats at the World Athletics Championsips in Berlin on Thursday, smashing the 200m time he set in Beijing 12 months ago to claim his second gold medal of the event.

The lightning quick Jamaican posted 19.19 seconds to take 11 hundredths of a second off the record, the exact same size bite he took out of the 100 on Sunday.

from Africa News blog:

South African fury at sex test for track star

Eighteen-year-old Mokgadi ‘Caster’ Semenya is being celebrated as a national hero in South Africa after winning the 800 metres at the World Athletics Championships, but the decision by international athletics officials to order a gender verification test has stirred deep anger – and brought accusations of prejudice against the country and the continent.

Many in South Africa feel a victory by their talented young athlete is being tarnished by bad losers and a world all too  ready to mock. Sensitivities to prejudice are never far from the surface in the country where apartheid white minority rule ended just 15 years ago.

Usain Bolt, and how I spurred him on to greatness


bolt1His feet are now worth millions but for one horrible, time-stopping moment back in 2005, Usain Bolt’s path to athletics immortality could have been very different.

Four years ago I covered the world championships for Reuters in Helsinki and was part of a group of journalists invited by sponsors to meet the then 18-year-old Bolt, an emerging but raw talent who had already had lofty expectations bestowed on him having become world 200 metres junior champion at 15.

Bolt shatters his own 100 metres world record in Berlin


Jamaica’s Usain Bolt obliterated his own world record on Sunday as he won the men’s 100 metres final at the world athletics championships in an incredible, mind-boggling 9.58 seconds.

One year to the day from his world record breaking victory in the Olympic final in Beijing, Bolt blew away the field on the blue track in Berlin. American Tyson Gay ran 9.71 to take silver, and Asafa Powell was third after running 9.84.