World Athletics Championships: Will drugs run away with it?

World Athletics Championships: Will drugs run away with it?

Stroop Effect Research Paper Athletics is increasingly turning into a battle between clean athletes and drug cheats, so who will win out in Beijing?

The 2015 Athletics World Championships in Beijing get under way on Saturday, as the world’s best sprinters, distance runners, jumpers and throwers all descend on the Bird’s Nest stadium for what should be a week-long feast of athletics action.

This year’s championships will also act as vital preparation for the athletes for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio, and the biggest names in the sport (Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Renaud Lavillenie, to name but a few) will all be looking to add to their bulging medal collections before next year’s event.

Or at least, this is what the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) would be hoping for us all to think. In recent months of course, anyone who has known anything about athletics has found it difficult to ignore wave upon wave of allegations regarding widespread doping in the sport, and of an apparent unwillingness by the IAAF to take such matters as seriously as they should.

Drug taking in athletics is obviously nothing new. In a sport where the margins between success and failure are so small, and where there can be such great benefits for success, some athletes will always be willing to try and cheat in their bids for victory and stardom, just as some people would in any sport or, for that matter, any walk of life.

Recently however, things have got a whole lot worse. In December 2014, a German TV documentary alleged that as many as 99% of athletes in Russia could be guilty of doping. In June of this year, Mo Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar was alleged to have prescribed prohibited drugs to other athletes. Finally, things came to a head at the beginning of August when an investigation from the Sunday Times and ARD alleged a huge scale of doping in athletics, including the allegation that a third of medals in endurance events between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes with suspicious blood values. Rarely has the credibility of athletics and the IAAF been under greater scrutiny.

Sebastian Coe: The man to clean up athletics?
Sebastian Coe: The man to clean up athletics?

Last Wednesday, former British Olympic middle distance gold medalist Sebastian Coe was elected as the new head of the IAAF, with a promise of greater resources for testing and an independent testing programme. If that can be done, it can only be a good thing for the sport, though his remarks about how the latest allegations had ‘declared war on athletics’ has led others to question if he is in denial of the extent of doping in the sport.

Geography Help The show however must go on, and the World Championships begin on Saturday with the eyes of the world on Beijing, hoping against hope that the clean athletes can win out against the drug cheats. In no event is this battle more prevalent than in the men’s 100m. This event is always one of the most glamorous in athletics, but now the attention will be greater than ever as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt lines up against America’s Justin Gatlin for the right to be crowned the fastest man on earth.

Athletics always earns greater attention when Bolt is in town. He is by far the biggest star in the sport, and now he returns to the venue where he well and truly announced himself to the world, when he won three gold medals and broke three world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now though, the attention on him is greater than ever. Bolt has never failed a drugs test. His main rival; Gatlin, has been banned TWICE (yes that’s right, TWICE) for doping. The second failed test in 2006 should have earnt him an eight-year ban, but on appeal it was reduced to four.


Can You Buy Research Papers Despite being 33 years old, and apparently no longer on drugs, Gatlin is running faster than ever, and is the fastest man in the world this year over 100m and 200m. Add in his generally arrogant demeanour, plus the fact that he has never admitted to his previous wrong-doings, and Gatlin is quite probably the most hated man in athletics.

Bolt is right when he says he can’t repair athletics’ reputation on his own, but virtually everybody outside of the USA is hoping Bolt can beat Gatlin. The Jamaican has had his injury concerns in the last year or so, but he will be running in Beijing, and right now, the sport needs him to succeed more than ever.

There will of course be plenty more action to look forward to for the week ahead. Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill goes for gold in the Heptathlon a year after returning from having a baby. France’s Renaud Lavillenie will be looking for another world record in the men’s Pole Vault, while all the sprinting and hurdles events promise to be as exciting as ever. All we can hope for is that the clean athletes get their rewards, and for that, the attention will be firmly rooted on Bolt and Gatlin.

For the record, the men’s 100m final will be on Sunday 23 August, with the 200m final on Thursday 27 August. Viewers in the UK can catch all the action on the BBC.