Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Track and field

USATF and the notion of homework

For years, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field were the two reliable punching bags in the American Olympic scene. The problem at both was much the same: constant management turnover and an unwieldy governance structure, each encumbered by a board of directors numbering in the triple digits that created an environment rife with petty politics.

Over the past several years, both have turned it around. But with USATF in particular, there remains a dissident cohort for whom seemingly nothing seems to be good enough. Case in point: there’s a new, professionally produced commercial featuring several track-and-field stars, and it’s even airing on network television. This has to be a huge win, right? Exposure for a sport that needs it? For some, apparently not.

Uncategorized

On the lookout for shiny Eagles over Hayward

EUGENE, Ore. — The way this is most likely going to end up is that Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix are going to have a run-off, probably Sunday, the day after the women’s 200 meters, to decide who gets the third and final spot in the 100 meters on the U.S. team that goes to London.

It’s not a done deal, of course. A jillion things could happen between now and then. But that’s the most probable. After all, it was improbable enough to see a dead heat that ended with both runners timed in 11.068 seconds, and more improbable yet that USA Track & Field didn’t have a process in place to resolve this kind of thing.

Uncategorized

LaShawn Merritt’s fascinating legal drama

Beijing Games 400-meter track and field gold medalist LaShawn Merritt got 21 months for doping, a three-member arbitration panel ruled in a decision made public Monday. That’s not, though, the news from one of the most fascinating Olympic-themed sports law cases in recent memory.

As part of the case, a 7-Eleven clerk testified that she sold Merritt the male enhancement product ExtenZe on a number of occasions. The stuff that’s in ExtenZe is what he tested positive for. Again, though, that’s not the news. Merritt is, by all accounts, a first-rate young man. He didn’t intend to cheat. He made a really bad choice. Enough said.

Uncategorized

USATF drops Logan – but why?

Anyone who has ever studied a little history discovers the “star chamber,” the ancient English panel. It purported to deliver justice. In fact, its verdicts were often rooted in petty politics and court intrigue.

Now comes the dismissal of Doug Logan, chief executive  at USA Track & Field. The action was announced Monday after a meeting over the weekend in Las Vegas of the USATF board of directors.