Tag Archives: Zharnel Hughes

Seb Coe: Track and field dopers are “architects of their own downfall”

Seb Coe says British sprinter CJ Ujah’s ongoing doping case is a painful reminder that athletics is committed to cleaning up its act.

Ujah is provisionally suspended having tested positive for a banned substance after helping Team GB win an Olympic sprint relay silver medal in Tokyo.

The case is with the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and as the year ends the 27-year old has yet to learn his fate.

Ujah insists he is “not a cheat” and has “never and would never knowingly take a banned substance”.

Lord Coe, a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said that “of course” he would be disappointed were the case against the Londoner to be proven.

It would mean not only him, but team mates Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, losing their medals and Team GB giving up the notable achievement of matching their 65-medal haul of London 2012.

But Coe, boss of World Athletics, added that from a broader perspective the case provided further evidence of track and field’s increased determination to protect its competitive integrity.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe ( Image: PA)

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“So, yes, I am disappointed in so far as every positive is not a good story. But in a way it does show that we are at least tackling this issue now and we are a federation who are not doing junk tests.

“We are not sitting there saying we have hundreds of thousands of meaningless tests. We are doing it in a very systemic and effective way. We will continue to that.”

World champions Christian Coleman and Salwa Eid Naser both missed Tokyo due to bans, as did 2016 Olympic hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal.

Ahead of the delayed Games, Coe even warned: “There is a greater chance of (cheats) being caught than probably any previous Games.”

Last night he added: “I want athletes to recognise that it really doesn’t matter where they reside, what systems they are in, whether they come from small, medium-sized, large, powerful federations.

“The philosophy is pretty simple, everybody will be treated exactly the same way. I think it is demonstrating that.”

UK Athletics names only 17 athletes on top-level funding for next Olympics

UK ATHLETICS has announced its list of athletes who will receive potentially career-defining funding as the summer Olympics scheduled for Paris in 2024 heave into view.

Among them is Keely Hodgkinson, who has been offered top level funding on the British Athletics Olympic world class programme.

The 19-year-old won 800m silver at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer, smashing Kelly Holmes’s British record, which had stood since 1995, by almost a second.

In March she became the youngest British winner at the European Athletics Indoor Championships for more than half a century and the youngest ever 800m European indoor champion, despite not being on full funding.

Performance director Sara Symington said: “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the world-class programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities.

“We will work closely with the 67 athlete-and-coach pairings that we are offering membership to, and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan,” she droned.

“The selection process is robust and lengthy and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process.

“We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the world class programme.”

Josh Kerr moves up to podium-level funding after winning 1500m bronze in Japan, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers.

Alex Bell, who came seventh in the 800m final, has been offered podium funding just two years after saying she was considering taking legal action against UK Athletics after being overlooked for funding for Tokyo.

They join Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili, with just 17 athletes on top-level funding. Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes have been downgraded to relay funding only, despite Hughes reaching the 100m Olympic final.

Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at podium potential level. Andrew Butchart, CJ Ujah and Tom Bosworth have seen their funding cut.

Source: morningstaronline.co.uk

Great Britain could lose Tokyo Olympics silver medal after CJ Doping suspension

British sprinter CJ Ujah has been suspended after testing positive for a banned substance – and it could mean bad news for Team Great Britain.

Ujah, 27, was the lead-off runner in Team GB men’s 4x100m relay team who won silver at Tokyo 2020 Olympics earlier this month.

He has been provisionally suspended from competition, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said.

According to the AIU, Ujah, who is the British champion over 100m, tested positive for ostarine and S-23, both of which are listed as prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The sprinter’s positive test could also mean bad news for his Team GB team-mates

World Athletics Anti-Doping rules state that where an athlete who has committed an ADRV ran as member of a relay team: “The relay team shall be automatically disqualified from the event in question, with all resulting consequences for the relay team, including the forfeiture of all titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.”

If proven, Team GB men’s entire 4x100m relay team, consisting of Ujah, Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, would be stripped of their silver medals.

However, all hope is not lost for Ujah, who has yet to comment on the findings.

He can still request analysis of the B-sample – kept for storage while the A-sample is analysed.

Should that confirm an Adverse Analytic Finding, his case will be referred to the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The International Testing Agency (ITA) said: “The Cas ADD will consider the matter of the finding of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation [ADRV] and the disqualification of the men’s 4 x 100 relay results of the British team”.

Ujah, along with Kilty, Hughes and Mitchell-Blake, only narrowly missed out on winning gold in Tokyo.

The quartet were leading going into the final 100m but unable to hold off the Italian challenge as anchor runner Mitchell-Blake was headed on the line by Filippo Tortu.

Team GB missed out on gold by just a hundredth of a second.

BBC slammed for Zharnel Hughes interview as Team GB star unable to speak following DQ

The BBC are facing fierce criticism over their interview of Zharnel Hughes moments after the Team GB star suffered a heartbreaking disqualification in the men’s 100m final at Tokyo 2020.

Hughes, 26, won his semi-final ahead of hot favourite Trayvon Bromell to reach the final in his first Olympic Games, having missed Rio 2016 due to injury.

But he was out of the blocks before the starting pistol fired and was swiftly disqualified from what was the biggest race of his life.

Hughes was visibly distraught as he addressed the media after the race, which was won by Italy’s Marcell Jacobs in a stunning upset.

Despite this, Hughes was repeatedly asked to justify his error, with the BBC Sport interviewer saying: “I just think you should kind of explain why or how one of the biggest moments of your life…”

In response, Hughes showed great composure and said: “It was out of my control. We went up on set, my left calf cramped up on me with the cramp I moved.”

He added: “It was all in my control, unfortunately my calf cramped, and I moved. I can’t describe it, it hurts a lot, second time again. I am just disappointed.”

After the interview, Team GB fans flocked to Twitter to voice their discontent about the interview.

One wrote: “Shocking post race interview by BBC reporter. He gave the reason and question repeated.

“Zharnel Hughes was clearly upset and she felt the need to stick the boot in and not even commiserate. So much for being kind and mental health. He handled it well.”

Another added: “BBC Sport, why are you torturing Zharnel Hughes with this interview?

Was the BBC’s interview of Zharnel Hughes unfair? Comment below.

“He’s totally devastated and your approach seems to be along the lines of ‘So loser, why are you a loser?’ Leave the boy alone to learn for the future! It’s a hard enough lesson he’s learned.”

“I thought you were supporting athletes mental health,” wrote a third. “Zharnel Hughes made a mistake in his race. Don’t speak to him like he has let the country down.”

Laura Muir aborts plan to attempt 800m/1500m double at European Championships

An Achilles issue has forced Laura Muir to abort a bold 800m/1500m double at the European Championships next month.

Muir had been bullish about launching a two-pronged bid for gold in Berlin when speaking after her failed effort to break the British mile record at the Anniversary Games on Sunday.

However, the effects of that grueling race were only felt a day later when she withdrew from 800m selection due to “irritation to her Achilles”.

“She’s a massively competitive athlete, but the simple fact is she has got some Achilles irritation and she’s made the sensible decision to focus on the 1500m.

“It is disappointing, but I love the fact that she makes good decisions and I’m sure therefore that we’ll see her at her best running the 1500m in Berlin.”

Muir’s last-minute decision to drop out on the eve of the team announcement comes after British Athletics was accused of favouritism when her rivals only learnt she had been added to the 800m start list at the British trials hours before the heats.

One rival lodged an official protest, but Muir was cleared to race in the shorter event – while skipping the 1500m – and ran out a clear winner.

Despite the latest backtrack only adding to a repeated theme of uncertainty over Muir’s plans, Black said he did not expect any major criticism from other athletes.

“The decision is the decision,” said Black. “I’m not anticipating any significant backlash. People always have a view.

“What’s important is Laura running well and winning medals, both now and in the future.”

Muir is one of 102 athletes named in the biggest British team to compete at a major championship for more than a century.

Diamond League champion Chijindu Ujah has been given the third selectors’ pick for the 100m alongside Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes.

World No 1 long jumper Lorraine Ugen is named in the team, alongside European leader Dina Asher-Smith, who will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

“I think that the time has come for Dina to really demonstrate where she is at,” said Black.

“Her expectation is very, very high and it’s going to be exciting to see her hopefully winning medals at a championship and using it as a platform to go on and really raise her game even further into the future.

“To be able to produce your best performances three times in a championship over three events is a huge ask. But I know she’s amazingly determined.

“She’s gradually put herself up there in global terms with the best in the world. If it’s possible, she’ll do it. We certainly have high expectations.”


Gatlin, Coleman to miss U.S. championships, World Cup

World sprint champions Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman will miss next week’s U.S. championships and as a result will not be eligible for track and field’s new premier event, the Athletics World Cup in London in July, officials tell Reuters.

The decisions, especially rising star Coleman’s, come at a time the World Cup, an eight-nation showdown, is seeking to bring new energy to the sport in a year when there is no world outdoor championship and Usain Bolt is no longer competing.

Managers for 100 meters winner Gatlin and Coleman, the world indoor 60m champion and record holder, both told Reuters their clients would not run in the American meeting, scheduled Thursday through Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.

That makes them and any other athlete who misses the championships ineligible for the U.S. World Cup team, according to Duffy Mahoney, USA Track & Field’s chief of sport performance.

“It is quite simple,” Mahoney said in an email to Reuters. “The highest placing finisher in each event at the 2018 USATF Senior Championships – who elects to compete – will select themselves for a position on the U.S. Team.”

Gatlin’s manager, Renaldo Nehemiah, said “there was no real incentive” for the 36-year-old sprinter to run in Iowa since there would be no world championship and not having extra races would cut down on the sprinter’s wear and tear going into the 2019 world championships and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Coleman manager Emanuel Hudson, in a text message, said, “Coleman is not at nationals.”

The world 100m silver medalist has been injured but is expected to return for the June 30 Paris Diamond League meeting.

Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad also will not be at the championships, Hudson wrote.

“So according to what you sent (Mahoney’s statement), they wouldn’t be eligible for World Cup,” he added.


Despite their absence and perhaps others, “USATF looks forward to having the world’s best national track & field championship next week in Des Moines, and to fielding the top team for the World Cup,” spokesperson Jill Geer said.

The World Cup, scheduled for July 14-15, will bring together teams from the United States, Jamaica, China, France, Germany, Britain, South Africa and Poland.

Track events from 100 through 1,500 meters, plus hurdles races and 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays, will be contested along with eight field events.

Each nation will have one competitor per event.

Without Gatlin or Coleman, the World Cup likely will look to Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, the year’s fastest at 100m, or emerging talent from the U.S. and Jamaican championships for its new sprint king.

World indoor bronze medalist Ronnie Baker and new 200m sensation Noah Lyles are set for a 100m showdown at the American meeting with Michael Norman, the year’s top 400 meters runner, contesting the 200.

Teenager Sydney McLaughlin will be launching her professional career in the 400 meters hurdles, where she is 2018’s fastest.


Hughes disqualified after winning 200m gold

On a dramatic night at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, it was a mixed night for the home nations, as England’s Zharnel Hughes was disqualified after initially winning gold in the men’s 200m final.

Winning the race after a strong bend, Hughes began to tie up on the home straight and as Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards began to chase him down, the two were involved in a clash of arms approaching the finish line as both men stumbled over the line.

With both men clocking 20.12, Hughes was initially awarded the gold medal but as replays showed Hughes impeded his competitor as they vied for the line, Hughes was subsequently penalised and disqualified for infringement.

Desperately for Hughes, The Anguillan-born athlete was already on his lap of honour when he was informed of the official’s swift decision to DQ him, as Hughes went off the track in search of answers. An appeal was lodged by Team England but was unsuccessful as the result stood.

Hughes’ loss however was Northern Ireland’s Leon Reid‘s gain being promoted from fourth place behind Canada’s Aaron Brown, with the athlete who has declared himself to compete for Ireland but is yet to receive his papers to compete, walking away with a surprise bronze.

source: britwatchsports.com

CJ Ujah comes under fire from Usain Bolt for Commonwealth Games no-show

Usain Bolt criticised English sprinter CJ Ujah for opting not to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

Ujah chose to focus on the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, where he was disqualified for a false start in the semi-finals, and is instead training in the United States.

As the Diamond League champion over the 100metres, a crown he won in the aftermath of last year’s World Championships in London, he would have been among the favourites for gold. Ujah recorded a time of 10.15sec in Arizona five days ago, which would have been enough for silver at the Commonwealth Games.

Asked about Ujah’s no-show, Bolt said: “I feel that the Commonwealths is an important stepping stone. I would have done it. People make decisions, you don’t know why. For me, I was very keen on coming here as I look at this as a major championship.

“I want every gold medal in my cabinet. I’m not one of those persons that says the Commonwealths is not important. For me, I find it very important. If they don’t show up, that’s their loss.”

Ujah’s absence has meant that none of the British 4x100m relay team who won gold in London last summer is now competing here.

Adam Gemili pulled out of the 100m final with a thigh injury picked up in his semi-final, while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was a late injury withdrawal and Danny Talbot is also on the sidelines recovering from injury.

The England team’s options are depleted for the relay, the quartet of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and 110m hurdler Andrew Pozzi now the only realistic options for tomorrow’s qualifying round. Despite his stance on the issue, Bolt raced at just one Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow four years ago, where he was part of the 4x100m relay team that won gold. He missed the 2006 Games in Melbourne with a hamstring injury and said the subsequent event in 2010 had been “bad timing”.

The athletics has been devoid of many of its global stars but the now retired sprinter insisted the Commonwealths remained a key event for the future.

He said: “A championship for me is a championship. I turned up prepared and ready to go. I see no reason 40 years down the line the Commonwealths won’t be here. I take them seriously.

source: standard.co.uk

Dina Asher-Smith insists split from boyfriend Zharnel Hughes will not derail Commonwealth Games medal bid

Dina Asher-Smith insists her split from sprinter boyfriend Zharnel Hughes will not derail her Commonwealth Games medal challenge.

Britain’s European champion is among the favourites for 200 metres gold when the Games get underway here next week.

The 22-year-old took fourth in last summer’s World Championships – and won a relay silver – despite breaking her foot only six months before.

Having regained full fitness and missed last month’s World Indoors in Birmingham to focus on Gold Coast glory, she says she is in a “happy” place – despite breaking up with Hughes, a training partner of Usain Bolt until the world record holder’s retirement.

“We are fine, we are still friends,” she said. “I won’t go into the details because that is personal life but we are cool, absolutely fine.

“I am not a celebrity so I didn’t think it was that much of a big deal to be in the papers. It is hilarious that people care if I have a boyfriend. I can’t wait to tell him.”

Asher-Smith is part of a team of 600 athletes and staff – the largest ever to represent England in an overseas sporting event.

In Glasgow four years ago the Poms topped the medal table for the first time since 1986, so not surprisingly the host nation are out for revenge.

Olympic champions Adam Peaty (swimming), Max Whitlock (gymnastics), Alistair Brownlee (triathlon) and Philip Hindes (cycling) lead the way in a team will compete in 18 sports, including 38 para medal events.

But Team England president Denise Lewis picked out Asher-Smith for special mention, saying: “We will get the opportunity to have a healthy Dina at the top of her game in the individual sprints.”

The Kent flyer is making her Commonwealth Games debut and is not only mercifully free of injury but also finally clear of studies.

“Hopefully it won’t be the best of me because I still have two Olympics cycles to go,” she said. “But hopefully it will be a really big year for me.

“My foot is no longer broken so I am not racing to get into shape this time. I’m not relaxed about competition because I need to bring my A game, or A plus. But I do feel really relaxed and happy.

“I have never been to this part of the world and there are not as many bugs as I was expecting – so that is a really good sign!”