Sunday, June 24, 2012

Here is the scariest part of Ashton Eaton's world record: Look at how much the rain hurt the other scores. Most were down two or three hundred off their P.R.'s. Ashton can run a 45 400 easily. His throws can and will improve a lot. He has gone from a 10.6 vaulter his Freshman year at U of O to 17.4. Saturday. Soon? 18 feet. On a dry track with no wind? This guy could vaporize the World Record. 9400. 

Remember, the points in the Decathlon tables are easier to get the higher your marks. It requires much more improvement distance and time-wise to go from 7,000 to 8,000 than 8,000 to 9,000. It is the only aspect of the Decathlon that is forgiving. 

Sure, the other-worldly-awesome Eugene/Hayward Field fans swung a few hundred points Ashton's way. Especially in the 1500 and pole vault. But with that bad weather, it was, I hate to say, a wash. 

Shall we talk about the 500 pound gorilla in the room? Performance enhancing drugs? I don't know. You don't know. Somebody knows. 

Much evidence points away from PED's. Leaner physiques, improvement in the technical events due to increased technology, 1500 meter times are way down. Huge advances in the last five years in nutrition and training. 

Ice baths? Dynamic stretching versus the old muscle-ripping static stretching? Deep muscle massages? Core workouts? Green screen and electrodes to fine tune technique? Lighter and stronger gear through synthetic materials? Running with a parachute? 

All new since I competed. And they are random drug testing all the time.

Let's put it this way. You take a 24-year-old two-time-gold-medal-winner, Daley Thompson, wean him off steroids (yes, I believe he was on the juice) and get him off of his horrific junk food addiction, train him with all the modern advances, and he puts up Ashton Eaton-like scores. In the Decathlon speed kills. 

But they can't test for human growth and they may be a lighter and impossible- to -detect steroid available. All of this has happened before. 

Maybe the soon-to-be-excruciating public crucification of Lance Armstrong will prove to be another deterrent? 

Any and all credibility gaps are track and Nike's own fault for being so damn greedy in the ugly "Carl Lewis and other steroid cheats are killing track's popularity" years. 

In fact, I told one of the Nike honchos that very thing when I interviewed there for the track marketing job circa 1993. 

They thought I was an idiot. 

Nike, you can deposit the $100,000 directly into my bank account if you don't want to send a check. Between my getting more jokes published and broadcast and the Olympics coming up? This is only going to get uglier.