Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: IAAF adds controversial Chinese athlete to it's new hall of fame...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

IAAF adds controversial Chinese athlete to it's new hall of fame...

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has just announced the names of 12 athletes to it's new hall of fame. While there are some obvious choices like Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek and Ed Moses, they also announced the controversial Chinese athlete Wang Junxia. Back in 1993, she took a huge 42 seconds off the old 10,000 metre record when she ran 29:31.7. That record still stands today, in fact, no-one has come within 22 seconds of it.

Her coach at the time was Ma Junren who later had some of his athletes fail drugs tests. Junren was also the coach of the three Chinese runners that appeared out of nowhere at the 1993 World Championships in Struttgart and pushed Sonia O'Sullivan into 4th place. In an interview last year, O'Sullivan wondered if those Chinese runners were clean at the time.

On hearing that Wang Junxia was nominated to the Hall of Fame, Paula Radcliffe, the Marathon record holder and who had beaten Wang comfortably at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Boston in 1992, posted a message on Twitter saying it was "a cruel joke".

It would be incredibly naive for anyone to believe that the Chinese performances of that era were clean. The Telegraph has a piece on it HERE

No comments: