Tyson Gay on the suspicion that sprinters are on drugs:
"People are going to question us because we've had athletes busted in the past. But I can't worry about it much. I know what I do. I know how I train every day, how I eat, sleep and run. I can't help what people talk about."
As an athlete, there will always be distractions. Homework, deadlines, family responsibilities, girlfriends... For sprinters heading to the Olympics, the performance-enhancing drugs issue will be a big distraction.
G.I. Joe cartoons used to end with the phrase "Knowing is half the battle." (I prefer this one.) Well, for sprinters like Gay, knowing you are clean isn't half anymore. It's more like 10%. The rest is convincing everyone else.
Athletes will have to walk a fine line between ignoring the PED issue and actively working to keep their names clean. That may mean undertaking more voluntary testing, joining groups and/or organizations committed to drug-free sports, or as Asafa Powell did recently, recommending harsher punishments for cheaters. But athletes, and this includes Gay, will have to do something.
Perhaps in the future we will be able to beat the drug developers. But for now, the athletes themselves will have to take the offensive with regards to PEDs. And that's going to mean allocating time and energy to it. In an event that is won in the hundredths (and even thousandths) of seconds, the athlete who manages this issue the best may actually have the advantage.