Collins calls out Powell on doping

Former 100 meter world champion Kim Collins is frustrated by track stars caught up in drug scandals.

Collins, from St. Kitts and Nevis, will be competing in the Cayman Islands on May 7 at the third annual Cayman Invitational meet. The 2012 London Olympian says sprinters like Asafa Powell – who received an 18-month ban for testing positive for the stimulant oxilofrine – have no excuse.

“If you say you trust people, and that’s what happens, you’re just as bad as them,” Collins said. “Whenever these tests come out, people have some really strange excuses. Very few people man up. In track and field, when it comes to cheating, you do not tell the truth. You lie, lie, lie. And everybody says, ‘Oh, he really didn’t do it.’ Come on, we all know. Man up. Man up. Man up. When I’m out there losing to you, or anyone else is losing to you, man up. If you’re a woman, the same thing applies: man up.

“It’s one of the ways you can go right, where you say, ‘OK, I made this mistake. This was why I felt I needed to do it, but I’m telling you that it’s not worth it. This is what I had, and this is all that I lost.’”

Powell, 30, is a former 100m world record holder, having set the mark at 9.74 seconds in 2007. The Jamaican said he took the substance unwittingly in a supplement given by his coach. Powell was one of five athletes to test positive for banned substances at the Jamaican national championships in June last year. Sprinter Sherone Simpson, Powell’s former training partner and an Olympic medalist, was suspended for 18 months by a Jamaican anti-doping panel for testing positive for oxilofrine.

Collins, 38, insists Powell is wrong to blame his coach.

“You say you trust this guy, and he got you into this trouble. What can you say? You trusted him. But I’m on my own. So I have nobody about whom I can say, ‘I trusted this person.’ I take full responsibility for what happens. But you cannot put the blame on anybody else by saying, ‘I trusted people.’ I think about the kids who look up to a lot of us, and they want to be like us. They think we are great. It breaks their hearts when they find out that you’re not really who you say you are, based on what is going on.”

Collins will be running in Cayman for the second time, having competed at the 2012 event. The two-time Olympic medalist will be one of the notable returning male stars. Joining him will be 110m hurdler Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.

Grabbing the headlines this year will be sprinters Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Allyson Felix of the United States. Campbell-Brown, a seven-time Olympic medalist, tested positive for diuretics last June and was provisionally suspended from competition. In February, Campbell-Brown was cleared of all drug charges and was allowed to resume competition. Cayman Invitational meet director Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens serves as a committee member for the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the meet has the blessing of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee.  

Felix, competing here for the first time, won the 2012 Olympic gold, two Olympic silver medals, and three world championship golds.

“If you say you trust people, and that’s what happens, you’re just as bad as them. Whenever these tests come out, people have some really strange excuses. Very few people man up.”

KIM COLLINS

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