Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bad News Day for Track & Field

Bad news seems to come in bunches. Yesterday the IAAF announced that it has provisionally suspended Jolanda Ceplak for a doping violation. Both her "A" and "B" samples failed in an out-of-competition test, showing positive for the blood-doping agent EPO. The Slovakian middle-distance runner is the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and the indoor world record holder for the 800m Run. For what it's worth, Ceplak proclaims her innocence.

Today Walter Dix announced that he will not be competing at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. Here's the pertinent section of the article in case the link gets removed:

FSU's Dix decides to 'call it a season'
By Steve Ellis

Walter Dix won't be adding to his impressive 2007 resume in track. The ACC male athlete of the year has decided against competing in the IAAF World Championships next month in Japan.

“He just decided to shut it down,” Florida State assistant coach Ken Harnden said. “It's been a long year. He's finishing up some classes . . . he just decided to call it a season. I knew he was tired.”

Dix plans to graduate in the spring and has said he'll continue to run for FSU at least up to that point. He was honored by the ACC on Tuesday following a junior year in which he won the 100 meters and 200 meters at the 2007 NCAA outdoor championships. He was also part of the winning 4x100 meter relay team, becoming the first male athlete to claim national titles in each of those three events since 1969. He won the 200 meters in the NCAA indoor championships and also owns the NCAA record in the 200 meters at 19.69 seconds.

Next year's Olympic Games is the obvious target for Dix.

“Certainly it's something we'll discuss the beginning of next year as to how much he wants to run indoor and maybe push the whole training and competition season back a little bit and focus on the Olympics,” Harnden said. “I think his main focus is the Olympics but certainly he wants some collegiate records as well."

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