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Olympics Notes

Courageous coach admits he was the whistleblower


Compiled by Adam Daff

Hours after U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the 100 metres, his coach made a surprise admission, revealing he was the anonymous source that sparked a doping investigation that rocked the world of athletics over the past several months.

Trevor Graham, coach of the newly crowned Olympic 100-metre sprint champion, told Reuters on Monday that he was the man who sent a syringe of the designer drug tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG, to the United States Anti-Doping Agency in June 2003.

"I did it. As a coach it seemed the right thing to do at the time and it still does," he said. "Would I do it again? Yes."

After receiving the drug, the USADA had it studied at UCLA laboratories, where it was determined to be a designer steroid modified to escape detection in testing. The USADA came up with a test for the new drug and began to re-test urine samples.

Graham, a then-anonymous track and field coach, fingered the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), a San Francisco-based nutritional supplements lab, and its founder Victor Conte, as the source of THG.

As a result, the BALCO labs were raided by agents from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force.

Track and field athletes charged with doping violations as a result of the BALCO investigation have included Tim Montgomery, Alvin Harrison, Kelli White, Michelle Collins, Chryste Gaines, Dwain Chambers and Kevin Toth.

The scandal reached the world of pro sports as well, with baseball's Barry Bonds and boxer Shane Mosley among those subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.

Canadian Dick Pound, the outspoken head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, was pleased upon hearing the news of the positive test.

"That’s good," said Pound. "If we got another one (cheater), that's great. It shows that you can't go to Ancient Olympia and screw around and get away with it."

— CBC Sports Online

Tears of joy

After two failed attempts Morocco’s champion runner, Hicham el-Guerrouj, made Olympic history Tuesday.

Guerrouj, who has broken every record in his discipline and is one of the world’s greatest middle distance runners, outlasted Bernard Lagat of Kenya in the final thrilling 50 metres of the men’s 1,500m race and then edged him at the line by 12-hundredths of a second.

In 1996, in Atlanta, Guerrouj crashed into another runner and fell, finishing last. The king of Morocco called to console him.

In 2000, in Sydney, Noah Ngeny of Kenya outran him in the final 50 metres and Guerrouj said he had let down his country.