Clara Hughes reveals failed drug test in 1994, more in book

Clara Hughes
Getty Images
1 Comment

Canadian Clara Hughes, the only athlete to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, revealed in her memoir that she failed a drug test in 1994 and served a three-month ban.

“I do know that I didn’t cheat,” Hughes said on CBC (video here). “And I can look anyone in the eye, and I can look myself in the eye and know that is my truth.

“This could have been a secret to my grave, but I just felt that I couldn’t not [reveal it], and people are going to judge me over this. There are people that are going to say that everything I did, that I cheated, and I can’t control that.”

Hughes, 42, won two Olympic cycling bronze medals in 1996 and speed skating medals in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Last year, she biked across Canada in 110 days, covering 7,000 miles for mental health awareness.

Hughes’ memoir, “Open Heart, Open Mind,” is to be released Tuesday.

In it, she details being told in late autumn 1994, following the World Road Cycling Championships, that she tested positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine, often found in cold medicines. She served a three-month suspension, but it went unnoticed because it occurred during her offseason.

Hughes doesn’t know how the substance got into her system, according to CBC.

“I’ve also never been publicly outspoken about people who do test positive, because you never know,” Hughes said on CBC.

Hughes also said that one of the reasons for her previously publicized bouts with depression were eating disorders that she detailed in diary entries.

“Why do I despise my body?” Hughes read from one journal that she said was dated June 3, 1997. “Disgusted with my lack of self-control.”

RELATED: Canadian speed skater, most decorated athlete at 2006 Olympics, retires

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein

Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah

British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!