Olympic champs get water bottles after races, but masters can’t?
This really chaps my hide. Watching today’s NBC replay of IAAF Diamond League meet in Brussels, I saw chilled water bottles being handed world-class athletes after their runs. Among them was Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the female Usain Bolt. But according to USADA and the ever-vigilant officials at Olathe masters nationals, athletes in races under 5K have to fetch their own water. Why? Because they might be handed spiked containers, of course. Before being made aware of the rule, I made a stink at Olathe вЂ” calling for a table to be set up near the finish line with meet volunteers handing out cups of water. National masters chairman Gary Snyder even assented at first, saying meet organizers had promised such a service. But other officials vetoed the water-cup handouts, and the table was removed after a half-hour.
So now we’re seeing the collateral damage of putting masters track under USADA policies intended for elites: insane rules meant to protect Olympians from testing positive by sabotage.
I’d love to see a masters exception to the USADA rule. Who in their right mind thinks a Kansas volunteer (or me) handing a cup of water to a thirsty finisher at nationals will put them at risk of a positive drug test?
On a different positive note, how about Bernard Lagat running the 5K in a season best 12:58.99? Or fellow 37-year-old Kim Collins clocking 10.07 at Brussels (after running the 100 in M35 record-tying 9.97 earlier this season)?
I’d offer them both a drink of water, but that would be wrong.