Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poisoning Athletics, London 2017

The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Athletics Championships are now being held in London during August 2017. Fans of track & field throughout the world are excitedly watching.

But much of the competition is being corrupted by Lord Sebastian Coe's IAAF bureaucracy. Far too much intervention has no basis in measurable data, and instead amounts to politicized interference in the competition.

Most Russian Federation team members were not allowed to compete. Those banned did not test positive for doping. Rather, the Russian bureaucracy was ostracized for systematic problems with poor security and deliberate efforts to bypass anti-doping procedures. In our modern technical world, however, there are ample ways to avoid collective punishment -- the bureaucrats (and most Brits) seem satisfied to ban the innocent, though this belittles the competition & medals.

Let's not forget Sebastian Coe won his first two Olympic medals (including the 1500m Olympic Gold Medal) at the boycott-ridden 1980 Moscow Olympics. It's highly unlikely I myself might have challenged or beaten him, but there was no chance -- US President Carter forbid American athletes from competing in that Olympics.

This London 2017 fiasco is also marred by infectious disease. Isaac Makwala of Botswana was unreasonably "quarantined" from competition as potentially infected. He missed the chance to contest the Men's 400m Final, and only when his federation issued a strong appeal was he allowed to run his heat for the 200m alone, in cold & rain. Terrible!