Bolt’s coach calls for national anti-doping lab

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Following the recent failed drug test and impeding suspension of Jamaican Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills said it was time for the government to create an accredited anti-doping lab to “ensure the purity of substances” the athletes are using for training.

“It just re-emphasizes the need for all involved to be extremely vigilant and the great need for Jamaica to establish an accredited lab so that athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage,” Mills told RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica. “It’s a minefield out there. Any substance that you take up could be contaminated.”

Mills, who also coaches 2011 world 100m champ and London silver medealist Yohan Blake, is concerned that athlete’s careers could be derailed if they can’t test substances for training. Jamaican samples are currently processed in other countries, including at WADA headquarters in Montreal.

Campbell-Brown, 31, tested positive for a banned diuretic that’s known for its use as a masking agent for performance enhancing drugs. She’s facing a two year ban from the IAAF, but wont know until next week.

The three-time gold medalist is one of a dozen Jamaican athletes who’ve faced suspensions of three months or more during the last five years, a span that’s seen Jamaica dominate track and field at the Olympics, with 23 medals won between London and Beijing. Jamaican 400m runner Dominique Blake was suspended six years on Thursday for failing a drug test in the lead up to the London Games.

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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