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Drug Testers Go After Powell

Jamaican sprint star Asafa Powell, who recently lost the men's 100 world record, complained that he had been drug-tested four times since his arrival to Beijing two weeks ago, expressing concern about the amount of blood the tests required.

Unlike in U.S. professional sports, Olympic drug-testing includes the examination of blood anand urine.

"About 2 days ago, I got pretty upset, because since I've been here, they have tested me 4 times, and took blood, a lot of blood," Powell said during a meeting with reporters as Nike's downtown headquarters in Beijing. "They are taking so much blood that we are going to be very weak for the finals of the 100 meters."

Added Powell: "I accept how important it is. They say that they're doing over 4,000 tests. But, it's just difficult. But hopefully they can catch all those on it and make the Olympics very clean."

The heats of the 100 begin Friday, and Powell's matchup with current world-record holder USain Bolt and reigning world champion Tyson Gay is considered one of the most anticipated events of these Olympics.

Powell was widely criticized after fading in the 100 at the world championships in Osaka, Japan, last year, and then acknowledging that the pressure had gotten to him.

"In Osaka, if I would have run like I was running in practice, I would have been the winner in that race," he said. "I was thinking of stuff I shouldn't be thinking of... If I go out and think like I'm supposed to, I'll be the winner."

By Amy Shipley  |  August 12, 2008; 10:53 AM ET
 
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Comments

They will probably be able to open a blood bank in Beijing with all they samples they must be extracting from Michael Phelps.

Posted by: rd | August 12, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I understand that it is important to do these tests, but is this a routine being done on all the competitors? If it is not then clearly, some people are being targeted and to what end result. Is the Jamaican team being picked on and for what reason " to weaken them" to the others advantage.

Posted by: Lisa | August 12, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

give the runner a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jay | August 12, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

sounds like he's planning to lose.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

They should target the crooks and leave the profs alone. How do they expect him to perform at is best when they are taking so much blood from him. They only tested Tyson Gay once does that sound right to you when he is a drug addict. They are a much of unethical scum.

Posted by: Floyd | August 12, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

It really does not matter what they do, they could even cut off one of his leg they still won't be able to stop him. In the 100 its gonna be Powell or Bolt, gay will be looking at the back of the jamaican jersey

Posted by: Skuggz | August 12, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

i would like to know if there is a drug that takes years before it can be shown in the blood?And if this is so is it really a true and fare olympic?

Posted by: sherona simmonds | August 12, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

why powell?The sprints are definately going to the jamaicans they are drug free and gifted naturally so they can do all the test they want.

Posted by: sherona | August 12, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Do they test Phelps as much as they test these guys? I suspect if this same treatment were dealt to him it would seriously jeoperdise his 8 medal prospects.

Posted by: Paul | August 13, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Phelps has been tested at least after every final performace, if not after every race, as well as when he got there are all the times leading up to his arrival. I am sure he is probley has had the most blood taken out of everyone in china this week

Posted by: blah | August 14, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@ sherona simmonds

The problem with doping is that new drugs and molecules are constantly put on the market for cheaters, on another hand tests and methods to detect them take a lot of time to be put in place. that's why the WADA will now keep blood and urine samples of these olympics for 9 years. That way cheaters will be caught sooner or later. As an example -unofficial- tests made in 2005 over old urine samples of cyclist Lance Armstrong showed that he used EPO on the tour de france back in 1999...

Posted by: Sensi | August 15, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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