C.J. Hunter failed drug tests.
September 26, 2000 7:35 AM   Subscribe

C.J. Hunter failed drug tests. What I don't get is why the IOC brought this up now, months after it happened, and right when the track and field events are going. He's not even competing in the Olympics. He's there to support his wife, Marion Jones. What purpose is served by announcing this information except to bring doubt on Marion's efforts to win her events. The IOC and the media have done a bad thing here, in my mind, it confuses and disgusts me.
posted by cowboy (15 comments total)
It was an 'accidental' leak. The games, and the sorry excuse for coverage by NBC, have left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I really used to look forward to them, now I'm looking forward to the new fall primetime lineup, how sick is that?
posted by Mick at 7:53 AM on September 26, 2000

The story was news because Hunter withdrew from the Olympics only two weeks ago. Since he was a favorite for a shot-put gold medal, I think the reason for his withdrawal is a natural source of interest.
posted by rcade at 8:37 AM on September 26, 2000

I believe it has been widely reported that the reason he withdrew from competition was knee surgery recovery. Regardless, he is not competing and the news of his drug tests seems contrived to implicate Marion Jones and tarnish her accomplishments, all for the sake of 'news.'
posted by cowboy at 8:50 AM on September 26, 2000

The results of CJ's drug tests were on tape delay.
posted by Basta at 9:23 AM on September 26, 2000

Sadly, I can't remember what news article I was reading the other day where the writer was of the opinion that athletes should take drugs and compete.

It reminded me of an old SNL skit, where a weightlifter rips his arms off. Seemed funny at the time, but I think that I was a very different person back then. Of course, it's possible that I haven't matured all that much.
posted by SentientAI at 9:53 AM on September 26, 2000

drugs are bad.
posted by frank spank at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2000

I don't see the beef with the media here. The guy was a gold medal favorite, and whether the drug tests are valid or not, he failed several of them. That's a news story during the Olympics, especially when more than a dozen athletes have been booted for failing drug tests this year.
posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on September 26, 2000

On the one hand, its a case of inter-organisational political rivalries, for sure. But the ultimate blame seems to lie with USA Track & Field, which has been accused of covering up Hunter's four drug test failures throughout the summer. The IOC is pissed off with USAT&F because it raises the suspicion that other US athletes, actually competing in Sydney, have failed tests and the results have, um, been lost in the post. And it settles a score between the IOC and USAT&F, since the IOC believes such selective disclosure has been going on for years.
posted by holgate at 12:48 PM on September 26, 2000

It was my understanding that C.J. Hunter, and many other prominent athletes, have this drug -- banned for over 20 years by the IOC -- in their system as a result of nutritional supplements. The numbers of positive tests for this specific drug have been unusually high this year. He didn't withdraw from the Olympics to avoid testing positive -- he showed the reporters at the press conference his knee scars to prove it.
posted by Julia2100 at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2000

I don't see the beef with the media here.

It was an attempt to distract his wife. He is not a participating Olympic athelete. It has no bearing on competition.

Remember competition, it's the filler between the heart warming human interest crap & breaking stories.

posted by Mick at 1:46 PM on September 26, 2000

If anyone believes that the majority, if not all top athletes, don't take performance enhancing drugs, excpect plenty of presents from santa this year.
Have you been good little boys and girls :)
posted by Zool at 3:00 PM on September 26, 2000

How do you know it was an attempt to distract his wife? Who in the media cares about the winner of a track and field event?
posted by rcade at 4:56 PM on September 26, 2000

There's a general complaint among national federations, and the IOC, that US Track & Field has preached against drug use in athletics, while being under suspicion of covering up test failures in off-meet testing. It's not an ideal way of bringing the issue to a head, but it's undoubtedly a successful one.

The issue of which drugs should be banned is a different, but vexing one. Nandrolone is related to "over-the-counter" supplements; pseudo-ephedrine is basically a cold remedy; pot is banned, but hardly a perfomance enhancer. So...
posted by holgate at 5:49 PM on September 26, 2000

The facts:

1. This result was not "accidentally" released. The IOC has been frustrated by the tardiness of the American officials to release the details of the drug tests, the last of which happened two months ago, and thus they did so themselves. What better time to raise the issue than when the world's media is focused on sport, and especially, drugs in sport? Don’t forget, five athletes have been stripped of their medals in the last ten days because of positive drug tests.

2. In the last test, in Oslo, Hunter had a reading of over 1,000 times greater than the average person. To quote Jacques Rogge, one of the vice-presidents of the IOC: "The only way to have such a level is either by injection or by taking pills." Not nutritional supplements.

3. This is the forth time this year Hunter has tested positive for nandrolone. He was also convicted three years ago for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, though my sources don’t say which one.

Is the man guilty? Nobody can say for sure. But the IOC was perfectly justified in the actions they have taken, and we should have heard about his four (!) positive tests this year long before now.
posted by Georgina at 7:27 PM on September 26, 2000

It took me eight years to learn the difference between forth and fourth and another eighteen to forget it. Sigh.
posted by Georgina at 9:05 PM on September 26, 2000

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