Maria Sharapova bidding to control the narrative at a March 7 news conference in LA, announcing her positive test for meldonium // photo Getty Images

Maria Sharapova bidding to control the narrative at a March 7 news conference in LA, announcing her positive test for meldonium // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Thoughts at tax time of $26 million budgets

The mind wanders as our friends at the U.S. tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service, prepare to say thanks ever so much for the notion of taxes being the mark of civilization, or something. In that spirit, here are 10 things to think about:

1. You want to get serious, really serious, in the anti-doping campaign? Let’s see governments step up their financial support of the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA’s annual budget is roughly $26 million. For comparison, that’s annual revenue of the sort the university athletic departments at Texas-San Antonio or New Hampshire work with, according to a USA Today survey. Let’s see what might happen were WADA to run with money along the lines of annual athletic department revenues at Oregon ($196 million), Texas ($161 million) or Michigan ($157 million), the top three in that survey. And here’s a telling stat: Ohio State’s athletic department received more in donations than WADA’s entire budget — $28.2 million of its $145.2 million annual revenue.

Usain Bolt on the medals stand Sunday night // Getty Images

Usain Bolt on the medals stand Sunday night // Getty Images

Track and field

U.S. No. 1 overall — in fast-changing world

BEIJING — With images of Jesse Owens and Luz Long on the big screens, Owens’ grand-daughter kicked off the final night of the 2015 track and field championships by presenting Usain Bolt his gold medal from the men’s 4×100 relay the night before.

This was, in a nutshell, the past and present of the sport. The future?

Ashton Eaton after crossing the finish line in the decathlon 1500 // Getty Images

Ashton Eaton after crossing the finish line in the decathlon 1500 // Getty Images

Track and field

A decathlon record but more U.S. relay woe

BEIJING — For this world championships year, 2015, the U.S. 4×100 men’s and women’s relay teams had one objective, and one objective only: get the stick around. Really. The trick was not to fall prey to the dropsies, oopsies and bumps in the night that have for far too long at major meets have plagued American entries.

With several young runners on the track and and the idea of using the 2015 worlds as an end unto itself but also a means of preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the verdict Saturday: oops, again!

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Justin Gatlin after his 200 heat // Getty Images

Track and field

Cut Justin Gatlin some slack

BEIJING — Dear friends and colleagues in the media, especially many of you in the British press: back off. Cut Justin Gatlin some real slack.

Instead of insight and the pursuit of the truth, what far too many of you have delivered instead is a simplistic caricature of events amid the 2015 world track and field championships that, regrettably, has led to the capacity to incite.

Usain Bolt crosses just ahead of a flailing Justin Gatlin // Getty Images

Usain Bolt crosses just ahead of a flailing Justin Gatlin // Getty Images

Track and field

Usain Bolt: still the 100 king

BEIJING — Usain Bolt did Sunday night what Usain Bolt does best, winning the men’s 100 meters at the 2015 world track and field championships, crossing just one-hundredth of a second in front of Justin Gatlin.

This was not, for the record, a morality play. This was, simply, an excellent race.