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The quest for EIGHT Olympic Gold Medals...

LEE
OMG!!! OK...WHY AM I SITTING HERE IN FRONT OF MY COMPUTER CRYING AS I JUST FINISHED READING 'EIGHT'????? THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD...YOU TURKEY...WHY DID YOU HAVE IT END THAT WAY....I JUST KNEW THE GOOD DOC WOULD FIX HIM UP SO HE AND HIS HONEY COULD GET TOGETHER AND GO OFF AND LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER...SNIF, SNIF, SNIF!!!! THIS WOULD MAKE A GOOD MOVIE!!!
YOU'RE AMAZING, LEE...YOU JUST KEEP CHURNING OUT THESE GOOD STORIES...I LOVE IT! WHEN CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH?
ALRIGHT....NEXT!!!!!

PS....WOW...I'm soooo impressed with your talent...You're really, really blowing my mind!

Lee,
This is a great story, easy to read, and marvelously written!!!! I am so pleased that you decided to send it to me. There are a couple of instances that I had to go back and reread for understanding but, all in all, a wonderful and captivating story! I loved it-as I have all your writings. I was captivated from beginning to end and found it fascinating how you ended the story with no more relish on what became of the doctor or news reporter, en al. Good ending!!! (As my grandson would say, Three thumbs up!!!)


Submitted:Mar 13, 2012    Reads: 20    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   


Eight!

By Lee G. Herndon


Copyright © 2011 by Lee G. Herndon Reproduction or translation of any part of this work beyond that permitted by the United States Copyright Act without the permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Requests for permission or further information should be addressed to: Lee G. Herndon 9 Creek Circle, Wetumpka, Al 36093

This book contains copyrighted material and is not for sale or profit.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.


C O N T E N T S

Eight!

Chapter 1 - Starting Over 5

Chapter 2 - Albuquerque 13

Chapter 3 - Third Place 19

Chapter 4 - Drug Junk 27

Chapter 5 - Qualifying 31

Chapter 6 - Convicted Without a Trail 37

Chapter 7 - In His Corner 43

Chapter 8 - Olympic Home 47

Chapter 9 - 100 Meters 55

Chapter 10 - The 100m Ceremony 63

Chapter 11 - Samid 67

Chapter 12 - 200 Meter Final 71

Chapter 13 - The Announcement 77


Chapter 14 - 400 Meter Final 83

Chapter 15 - 400m Ceremony 89

Chapter 16 - Eat My Dust 95

Chapter 17 - Shoo In 105

Chapter 18 - Messing With a Musa 109

Chapter 19 - 1,500 Meter Final 115

Chapter 20 - What Walk? 123

Chapter 21 - 4 x 100 Relay 129

Chapter 22 - Southern Malaysia 135

Chapter 23 - 4 x 400 Relay 139


CHAPTER ONE

Starting Over

From Times Staff Reports

A woman was killed in a noontime crash with an oil tanker truck Monday, shutting down all four westbound lanes of the Interstate near the Hov Lane exit, authorities said.

The tanker truck, carrying 6,700 gallons of oil, rolled down the freeway embankment and turned over on a side street, causing a spill. The tanker truck driver was also killed, the County Fire Department said. Lanes were reopened at 1:35 p.m.

"Good morning Mr. Edwin, please have a seat. First of all let me offer my condolences for your loss. I know this is a difficult time for you and your family. I'll try to dispose of this matter as quickly as possible. I have a check here for you. It is a handsome offer. If you agree, please sign these papers and this matter will be satisfactorily closed."

Kiki, my wife of 12 years, was driving on the Interstate when her car was struck by an Oslo Oil tanker whose driver had allegedly fallen asleep. The tanker exploded and engulfed Kiki's car in flames trapping her inside. She did not survive nor did the driver of the tanker. I can't imagine the pain and horror she went through. That alone will torment me for the rest of my life. And now this fool is offering me a check for $25,000 so we can, as he says, 'satisfactorily close this matter'. Is he trying to take advantage of my grief or is he just a scheming fool?

"Mr. Sharp, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the value of a statistical life is $6.9 million. Also, Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi wrote a study recently coming up with a value of $8.8 million in contemporary dollars for a human life. I wonder how an attorney would evaluate that seeing how Oslo Oil is obviously at fault. Tell me Mr. Sharp, how much is life with your wife worth? You think about that for a while then call me when you've come to your senses. Good day Sir."

It pays to do a little homework. He came to his senses and we settled the next day. The day after that, I quit my job.

We were married when I was 18, way too young and stupid; now at 30 I simply don't know what to do with the rest my life. I never have been very good at anything. Struggling with this and that; no close friends; sorry job, trying to make ends meet; trying to make a marriage work; can't even have kids, my shorts are too tight or is it not tight enough! What's that old cliché - life's a bitch and then you die! Why wasn't it me? Life goes on, I guess…

Running has always been a source of pleasure for me; I never took it too seriously, I just run to relax. I enjoy the freedom and the solitude. I used to run cross country in high school. I never won, I think 7th place was about the best I did. I never tried out for the sprints, even though I thought I could beat every sprinter on the track team. I was just too lazy to do all that was required of sprinters. I didn't even run competitively in college, just ran a few miles a day to keep in shape and to have some time to myself, which is about what I do now. I wonder what I could do if I did take it seriously? Lately I've just been running to forget. The Olympics are coming up in two years. LOL Me in the Olympics at 32 years old! Why not? I've got the time and the money, but do I have the desire, do I have the heart, am I still too lazy?

I decide to go to the local high school every day and start running wind sprints. The first day I try to run a 50 meter dash. I get about 10 meters and my legs start to cramp. 'Maybe you should start out stretching a bit first, stupid!' Ok, I've got to get me a set routine so I won't kill myself. I check out a few books from the local library on running and conditioning. I set up a program and schedule for me to follow, which also includes diet and hydration. I also plan to watch the high school track kids and do what they do. It sounds simple but that's about all I know how to do, besides I'm no pro, I'll just do the best I can and see what happens. 'Good plan Jarvis!' Oh by the way, my name is Jarvis Benton Edwin. My friends call me JBee for short.

"Hey fellow, you're obviously not one of my high school kids. You trying to become a volunteer coach?" Tim Jennings is the volunteer high school track coach. "I guess we could use another hand."

"Ok now don't laugh; believe it or not I'm trying to get myself ready for the Olympics. Either that or kill myself trying! LOL I'd really appreciate it if you would allow me to train with your kids. I have no idea what I'm doing!"

"If you can keep up, not a problem, but I assure you I won't be easy on you just because you're my age. So be prepared to run your ass off! But I'll have to say you're a volunteer coach for insurance purposes. What's your name?"

"Just call me JBee."

In a few weeks I'm running regular wind sprints with the high school kids, after throwing up the first few times of course. Much of the time in coach Jennings' training is spent conditioning the body and teaching us drills that help develop proper sprint mechanics. Plus exercises that help to develop and improve an athlete's technique, stride length, and stride frequency. His Circuit Training program plays a big role during this phase, we do this not only to help increase our fitness level, but also to help develop the proper sprint mechanics that are so vital at the end of a race. The emphasis here is again on developing speed, then conditioning the body and mind to hold that speed. The thing that Jennings tries to stress is that we are preparing to be champions; that we are working towards weekly progress and building towards an explosion when the competitive meets begin.

Now we all know that there are all kinds of speed drills, practice equipment, training programs, and theories about how to get faster. Everyone has a technique or theory. But Jennings says there is one thing I should understand and not forget. That speed and quickness are not the same as strength and endurance, and I won't achieve great speed by only training for strength. Speed is not determined by just how strong my muscles are but also by how quickly they react and contract. I will need strength to carry my own weight and move against resistance. But once I have enough strength then any additional gains in speed will depend largely upon how fast my muscles will contract. And it is acknowledged that the speed and quickness of our muscles is accomplished by conditioning what are called our fast twitch muscle fibers. When I understand what makes muscles faster and why it works and how to properly apply it to specific muscles, I will have discovered how to run faster by making my muscles quicker and how to achieve the level of performance that I am actually capable of. Whatever the sport or athletic goal might be, it is important toincrease running speed, with greater power and agility. Jennings knows his stuff and I'm an avid learner!

My sprint times are pretty good now; the high school kids are no longer competition for me. It's time to move up and see what I can really do. Actually, I'm pretty close to the Olympic qualifying times but Tim says I need a taste of better opponents to push me to the next level.

"Ok JBee, I think you may be ready for your first taste of competition in the sprints. You've been training for about a year and a half in the sprints and I must admit, you are pretty damn fast. But what is your goal? What specific event do you want to train for? I've noticed that you are a pretty good athlete. I would suggest that you try out for the decathlon. The decathlon is 10 events run over two days. The first day you compete in the 100 meter dash and 400 meter dash. The second day you do the 110 meter hurdles and 1,500 meter run. Field events round out the other six spots split across the two days, and are as follows: high jump, long jump, shot put, discus throw, pole vault, and javelin toss. What do you think?"

"Tim, I think you're crazy! LOL I only want to run. I'd fall on my head trying to pole vault something! I used to run cross country so I know I have good endurance. I'd prefer to run the 1,500 meters on down, but no hurdles. This might sound really crazy to you but I want to be the first Olympic athlete to win eight gold medals AND set eight world records doing so. I want to train for the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1,500 meters, the long jump, and both the 400 and 1,600 meter relays. The USA Outdoor Championships are in a few months in Albuquerque. Help me with that will you Tim?"

"Let me get this straight, JBee, you think I'm the one that's crazy?"



CHAPTER TWO

Albuquerque

Grief is undoubtedly one of the most painful experiences we as humans have to go through. As we live our lives, we go through many small losses that can assist in handling the inevitable large losses. When a loved one has been ill for a long time, we feel great sorrow when the death occurs. But when a death is sudden, our world turns upside down and we feel confused and sometimes deny the death. This is termed a complicated grief reaction, brought about because there was no time to emotionally prepare ourselves. Grief counseling is usually conducted after a loved one dies. Counseling for grief works to overcome the intense feelings of a loss in our lives.

When we lose someone close, we most likely receive much attention initially from friends and family. But soon most people will move on after a few weeks, especially so when the loss is not so close to them. The grieving person however may not be ready to 'move on'. In this situation counseling is most beneficial, especially if the death was unexpected. Counseling gives the grieving person a mechanism to continue to adjust to the loss and receive assistance that may not be available from friends, family, or a wider personal network. Counseling can be conducted either individually or in groups.

Grief counseling is particularly important for people who are: socially a little isolated, had a difficult relationship with the bereaved, or already had emotional issues when the loss occurred. Sounds like me! Most frequently, the grief counselor helps the person by simply listening in an active manner and by demonstrating empathy. Then assisting the person to find coping mechanisms to deal with the grief.

I attended a number of sessions with a Dr. Burns, plus I attended a number of support group meetings. We all handle grief differently. If the goal is to find a coping mechanism, I guess I found mine in running.

Track and field performers - even elite international competitors - can begin at a variety of ages. Many youth track and field programs are available, including local clubs and AAU organizations, as well as middle and high school programs.

Some young athletes will specialize in a different sport before switching to track and field at a later age. A basketball player could become a long jumper. A heavyweight wrestler or football lineman might take up the discus or shot put. Success in NCAA competition is a common step for those who'll seriously compete for an Olympic team berth. But again, there is no single path that leads to Olympic competition. Some athletes who are past college age, like me, may be able to hone their skills sufficiently to compete in USA Track & Field events - including the Visa Championship Series (featuring indoor and outdoor meets), the USA Running Circuit (a road series for distance runners), or The USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series - and eventually qualify for the US Olympic Trials.

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the national governing body for track and field in the United States. A competitor must be a USATF member in order to enter an Olympic Trial. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international track and field governing body and writes the rules used in the Olympic Games. In addition to being a USATF member, each competitor must be a US citizen and must meet the qualifying standard for his/her event in order to attend a US Olympic Trial.

There are two qualification standards for the US Olympic Trials. Athletes who meet the 'A' standard in a recognized national or international event are automatically invited to the Trial for that event. Competitors who meet the 'B' standards are invited only if additional athletes are needed to make the event competitive. For example, the USATF requires a minimum of 32 competitors in the 100-meter dash Trials. If less than 32 Americans qualify under the 'A' standard in the 100, additional sprinters who've attained the 'B' standard will be invited, until a full, 32-person field is completed.

For this Olympic year, the men's 'A' qualifying standards are as follows:

  • 100 meters: 10.07 seconds
  • 200 meters: 20.3
  • 400 meters: 45.0
  • 800 meters: 1:45.5
  • 1,500 meters: 3:39.0
  • Long jump: 8.05 meters

I would have to qualify with the above standards in a nationally recognized meet before I could even be considered for entry into the Olympic Trails.

The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the New Mexico Sports Authority, the University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and USATF New Mexico, are the official hosts for the USA Championships. I have all my entry forms and fees paid for entry into 6 events and I have booked a hotel room in Albuquerque. This is my one and only chance to qualify for the Olympic Trails.

The world's #1 ranked high hurdlerDavid Oliver, plus two-time Olympic medalist and holder of numerous American recordsBernard Lagat, will be the featured attractions in the men's running events at the USA Track & Field Championships. The Championships are sponsored by BMW, at the Albuquerque Track and Field Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M. Can you imagine ME with all these world class track stars?

"Jarvis Edwin? Are you Jarvis Edwin? I think there is a problem with your entry forms. It says here that you are entered in 6 separate events. Are you sure this is correct?"

"There is no mistake. Here are my receipts and entry forms. I have been approved and entered in 6 events. Is there a problem?"

"Well this is highly irregular, this has never happened before. Are you sure you didn't want to enter the decathlon?"

"Well I would have but I can't pole vault very well, so what the hell, I just entered stuff I could run in. It's a little harder to fall on my head."

"Good luck funny man."

"This is Stuart Scott reporting for ESPN, returning to one of the most hallowed sites in the sport, the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will take place at the Albuquerque Track and Field Stadium, site of the last two US Olympic Team Trials. Albuquerque has long been dubbed "Track Town, USA" for its rich track and field history and the community's overwhelming appreciation of the sport." Scott continues, "Amidst traditionally standing-room only crowds, Albuquerque Track and Field Stadium will welcome Visa Champions such as Terrence Trammell, Lolo Jones, Adam Nelson, Tyson Gay, Shalane Flanagan, Jenn Stucynski, and many more world-class athletes attempting to break records and defend their coveted titles. There is also a young man, Jarvis Edwin, who has entered himself in 6 separate events. He reportedly is trying to win 8 gold medals, including the relays. No one has ever heard of Edwin, so this is quite a long shot and probably not worth mentioning. Michael Phelps, in 2008, with 8 gold medals in swimming, is the only person to accomplish this feat. No one has come even close to that in track and field events."

"The United States' best athletes have also invaded Albuquerque for their last chance to qualify for the Olympic Trials, the opportunity to represent Team USA in Berlin, Germany this summer at the Olympic Games, the first major international track and field event in the Olympic stadium since the 1936 Olympic Games. Recalling history, the pre-World War II Olympic Games was the seminal event in Olympic history. During the 1936 Games, Jesse Owens' four gold medal performance established his legendary status as an American and international icon."


CHAPTER THREE

Third Place!

David Oliver, Christian Cantwell, Wallace Spearmon, and Jenn Suhr each dominated their respective events on the final day of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Track and Field Stadium. Olympic Games bronze medalist David Oliver captured his second USA Outdoor Nike Men's 110 Meter Hurdles title in a dominating performance against a strong field. Oliver grabbed the lead early and ran clean over the hurdles throughout in capturing his first national outdoor crown since winning the last Olympic Trials. Oliver's time of 12.93 is the fastest winning time at the championships since 1996, when Allen Johnson was the victor in 12.92. Oliver's performance ties him with Renaldo Nehemiah as the #7 fastest performers all-time. Ryan Wilson was the runner-up in 13.17 seconds, with Ronnie Ash third in 13.19 and Olympic Games and two-time World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist David Payne fourth in 13.28.

World Outdoor Championships silver medalist and two-time World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon dominated a strong field in the Nike Men's 200 Meters with his time of 19.77w (+2.9 mps). For Spearmon, it's his second US Outdoor 200m title to go along with his triumph from last year. Olympic Games bronze medalist Walter Dix was the runner-up in 20.14, with USA Outdoor Champs fifth-place finisher Xavier Carter finishing fourth in 20.29.

Olympic Games gold medalist and three-time World Outdoor Champion Dwight Phillips took the lead for good on his second attempt in the men's long jump at 8.23m/27-0 and increased it twice more in winning his fourth career national title in this event. Phillips' winning leap came on his final attempt when he soared to 8.37m/27-5.5. Last Olympic Trials runner-up Trevell Quinley finished second with his sixth-round leap of 8.20m/26-11 and the University of Nebraska's Chris Phipps finished fourth with a best of 8.12m/26-7.75.

World Outdoor Championships sixth-place finisher Nick Symmonds captured his third consecutive national 800 meter title in his usual fashion. Symmonds was in fifth place with 200 meters to go and had worked his way to first place with 60 meters remaining in the race. From that point on he continued to gradually increase his lead prior to finishing first in 1:43.98. Last Olympic Trials sixth-place finisher Duane Solomon was the runner-up in 1:44.16, with Jacob Hernandez fourth in 1:47.23.

A terrific battle down the final straightaway thrilled the crowd in the Visa Men's 1,500 Meters as Olympic Games US delegation flag bearer Lopez Lomong barely edged Olympian and World Outdoor Championships finalist Leo Manzano for the title. Lomong and Manzano were stride-for-stride with 200 meters remaining in the race and it stayed that way until the 60-meter mark when Lomong edged ahead by a slight margin. Lomong won the US title for the second consecutive year in 3:36.83, with Manzano finishing as the runner-up in 3:36.91. David Torrence came in fourth in 3:51.80.

Prior Olympic Trials finalist and World Indoor Championships 4x400m relay gold medalist Greg Nixon captured his first USA Outdoor men's 400m title by setting a personal best and world leading time of 44.61 seconds. The USA Indoor 400m champion, Nixon also won earlier this year in Des Moines at the Drake Relays in a then personal best time of 45.08. Down the stretch Nixon held off NACAC champion Jerald Clack, who finished as the runner-up in 44.71 seconds, which is his best finish ever at this event. Jamaal Torrence finished fourth in 44.80. Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Jeremy Wariner fell to the track after 120 meters. Wariner stated after the race that he felt a pain in his hip flexor after over-striding. He is not due to race again for two weeks and believes he'll be fine.

World Outdoor Championships gold medalist and World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Walter Dix dominated a strong field in the 100 meters with his time of 10.04w (-1.5 mps). For Dix, it's his second US Outdoor 100m title to go along with his triumph from last year. Trell Kimmons was the runner-up in 10.06, with Ivory Williams finishing fourth in a distant 10.29.

Saving this bit of history making results for last, unknown Jarvis Edwin qualified in an unbelievable 6 events and advances to the Olympic Trials in all 6. Jarvis pulled off third place finishes in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, and long jump events. This is the first time in history that an athlete has accomplished this feat. There is some controversy as to how this young man could have the endurance to compete through all the qualifying rounds and have enough left for the finals. But as of now he has qualified for the USA Olympic Trials.

Men 100 Meter Dash Senior/Open ===================================================================== World: 9.58 Usain Bolt, JAM American: 9.69 Tyson Gay, adidas Name Team Finals Wind ===================================================================== Finals 1 Walter Dix Nike 10.04 -1.5 2 Trell Kimmons adidas 10.06 -1.5 3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 10.07 -1.5 4 Ivory Williams Nike 10.29 -1.5 5 Wallace Spearmon Saucony 10.30 -1.5 6 Rae Edwards Nike 10.35 -1.5 7 Leroy Dixon Nike 10.36 -1.5 8 Evander Wells unattached 10.39 -1.5

Men 200 Meter Dash Senior/Open

=====================================================================

World: 19.19 Usain Bolt, JAM

American: 19.32 Michael Johnson, Nike

Name Team Finals Wind

=====================================================================

Finals

1 Wallace Spearmon Saucony 19.77 2.9

2 Walter Dix Nike 20.14 2.9

3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 20.27 2.9

4 Xavier Carter Nike 20.29 2.9

5 Evander Wells unattached 20.31 2.9

6 Leroy Dixon Nike 20.36 2.9

7 Rubin Williams unattached 20.38 2.9

8 Mookie Salaam unattached 20.52 2.9


Men 400 Meter Dash Senior/Open

================================================================

World: 43.18 Michael Johnson, USA

American: 43.18 Michael Johnson, Nike

Name Team Finals

================================================================

Finals

1 Greg Nixon Asics 44.61

2 Gerald Clack Nike 44.71

3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 44.79

4 Jamaal Torrence Nike 44.80

5 Tavaris Tate Miss St 44.84

6 Josh Scott St Augustine 45.01

7 Calvin Smith Florida 45.27

8 Donald Sanford Arizona State 45.99

Men 800 Meter Run Senior/Open

================================================================

World: 1:41.11 Wilson Kipketer, KEN

American: 1:42.60 Johnny Gray, Santa Monica TC

Name Team Finals

================================================================

Finals

1 Nick Symmonds OTC-Nike 1:43.98

2 Duane Solomon Saucony 1:44.16

3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 1:45.49

4 Jacob Hernandez Nike 1:47.23

5 Tyler Mulder OTC-Nike 1:47.27

6 Karjuan Williams adidas 1:47.42

7 Richard Jones LSU 1:47.67

8 Charles Jock Cal Irvine 1:51.23

Men 1500 Meter Run Senior/Open

================================================================

World: 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj, MAR

American: 3:29.30 Bernard Lagat, Nike

Name Team Finals

================================================================

Finals

1 Lopez Lomong Nike 3:36.83

2 Leonel Manzano Nike 3:36.91

3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 3:39.00

4 David Torrence Nike 3:51.80

5 Matthew Centrowitz Oregon 3:51.81

6 Russell Brown Oregon TC 3:52.20

7 John Bolas Wisconsin 3:52.40

8 Matt Tegenkamp OTC-Nike 3:52.54

9 Ryan Hill NC State 3:52.73

10 Garrett Heath Saucony 3:52.80

11 John Mickowski US Army 3:52.89

12 Stephen Pifer OTC-Nike 3:53.07

Men Long Jump Senior/Open

================================================================

World: 8.95m Mike Powell, USA

American: 8.95m Mike Powell, Foot Locker AC

Name Team Finals

================================================================

1 Dwight Phillips unattached 8.37m

2 Trevell Quinley unattached 8.20m

3 Jarvis Edwin unattached 8.20m

4 Chris Phipps NC State 8.12m

5 Brian Johnson Nike 8.07m

6 Jeremy Hicks unattached 8.06m

7 Randall Flimmons unattached 7.88m

8 Desmond Brown unattached 7.86m

Every one of my times was a personal best in the Albuquerque meet. I was overjoyed with my success! My confidence is solid in my quest for eight and eight!

  • 100 meters: 10.07 seconds - 10.07
  • 200 meters: 20.30 - 20.27
  • 400 meters: 45.0 - 44.79
  • 800 meters: 1:45.5 - 1:45.49
  • 1,500 meters: 3:39.0 - 3:39.0
  • Long jump: 8.05 meters - 8.20m/26-11.00ft

"Jarvis, I've got to ask you this. Are you taking any performance enhancing drugs? If you are I can't be associated with you anymore."

"Tim, I have never taken anything other than coconut water. I love the stuff; if that's a performance enhancing drug then I'm guilty! Tim, I do need for you to do something for me though. I know you're a practicing attorney. I need you to set up some stuff for me just in case…"



CHAPTER FOUR

Drug Junk

US and international Olympic officials plan to go to the highest court in sports over an anti-doping rule that could prevent American runner Greg Nixon from competing for the 400-meter title at the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and US Olympic Committee (USOC) are nearing agreement on jointly asking the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a definitive ruling on one of the key elements of the IOC's anti- doping program. Both sides want CAS to make a ruling as early as possible to avoid last-minute confusion and legal wrangling in the months and weeks before the Olympics start. The decision will be closely watched as a test case that could affect other athletes. Jarvis Edwin's showing at the Albuquerque meet (6 qualifying events) has raised suspicions that he might be singled out as a violator.

At issue is the IOC rule that bars any athlete with a doping suspension of at least six months from competing in the next Olympics. Nixon has been suspended before but Edwin hasn't. The rule was approved by the IOC and went into force just ahead of the Beijing Games. Critics claim the rule amounts to a second punishment and doesn't withstand legal scrutiny. The IOC says it is not a sanction but an eligibility issue, and the Olympic body determines who can participate in its event. Nixon received a 10-month suspension last year after testing positive for a banned substance found in a male enhancement product. His penalty was reduced because he cooperated with authorities and was found to not have taken the drug to enhance athletic performance. Nixon's ban expires in July, meaning he can return to international competition. However, Nixon would be ineligible to compete in Germany under the IOC rule.

The American Arbitration Association panel that banned Nixon contested the IOC rule, saying it goes against the World Anti-Doping Agency code and would essentially extend his ban excessively. If Merritt were to qualify for Germany at the US Olympic trials, it would leave the USOC and IOC in a tricky position. That's why the parties would like to settle the case soon.

Jarvis Edwin is another story. He has not failed any known drug tests. But there is a standing belief that he must be using something to be able to endure the amount of competitive events he has entered. No one in the history of the Olympic Trials has qualified in 6 different events. He will be under heavy scrutiny by USOC officials throughout the Trials.

CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said the court had not yet received any appeal or request for arbitration but said it would make sense for the issue to be resolved there.

"Because this rule seems to be so difficult to apply for certain cases, I think it's much better to have a ruling from CAS way in advance of the Olympic Games to avoid a sort of quick decision three weeks prior to the deadline for the registration of athletes," Reeb told the Associated Press. "So we have time to organize a proper procedure during the year and to have a final ruling which would be applicable to all athletes. I think many other athletes could be concerned, not only the US athlete. It would be a good test case," Reeb said.

Also affected could be American swimmer Tessica Bard, who missed the Beijing Olympics after testing positive for Clenbuterol. She was found to have unknowingly taken the banned agent in a contaminated food supplement and her two-year suspension was reduced to one.

IOC vice president Thomas Bach, who heads the IOC's judicial commission, defended the rule at an executive board meeting in January. "We made it clear from the very beginning that it is not a sanction," Bach said. "It is a condition of participation. The IOC is governing the Olympic Games and has the right to put conditions for participation. In that light, we will not disqualify any athlete that has not tested positive for a listed ban substance."

Interim CEO Scott Clack, a Colorado Springs attorney, will be named tomorrow as the new CEO of the US Olympic Committee, the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune reported this morning. Clack, 52, has served in a number of USOC positions. He was acting CEO from February through November. He recently was named a finalist along with Chuck Weel, the current head of USA Swimming.

Clack would replace Stephanie Street, a former member of the USOC board that unexpectedly ousted popular CEO Jim Scherrin last year. The action launched what looked like a series of damaging USOC missteps, leading to the slam-dunk rejection of Chicago's Olympic bid by the International Olympic Committee. Clack has a son, Gerald Clack, who is one of the favorites in the 400 meters.

"Hey Dad, what do you think about this Jarvis Edwin guy?"

"I think he's all drugged up on something. But we'll test him after every race. Something will show up and he'll be history. I hope you're not worried about him. You should be focused on beating Nixon; he'll probably qualify for the Trials. Anyway, I guarantee Jarvis Edwin won't be going to the Olympics. He's no great athlete. He's no Jessie Owens! He's just some punk hyped up on steroids!"


CHAPTER FIVE

Qualifying

Athletes begin the pursuit of their Olympic dreams at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials, with eight days of competition at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The world's finest national championship track meet, the Olympic Trials will host more than 1,000 athletes competing for the right to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. The top three finishers in each event who have met the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard in their respective events will be named to the US Olympic roster. The meet runs July 9-18, with July 13-14 serving as rest days, and is being broadcast live on the NBC and USA networks.

Athlete Quotes - Day 1 Olympic Trials

"It was a cool night for the race. Last time, it was good. This year, it was better. My strategy is to get it down to as few people as you can. You're seeing me as a different person now. Four years older and more mature. Which event am I best in? I'm going to sit down with my coach and figure it out. The goal is to get to the medals stand. And my chances are better in the marathon. The marathon is more tactical, the heat, the hills makes it anybody's race."

***

"The stress fracture really started to hurt in the last two miles. Not bad enough that I couldn't run a six-minute pace, but enough so that I couldn't show my normal running form. If I landed on the inside of my foot, I could partly take the pressure off. Physically, I wasn't breathing hard at the end and overall, it felt a lot better than three weeks ago. Coach (Wetmore) told me if it felt like it was going to break to drop out. That's not something I wanted to hear, but it never got that bad."

***

"My race was OK, about an eight out of ten. My friend Mike ran a great race. He's in the best shape of his life. Coming into this race I knew I was going to have my hands full. I tried to hang around as long as I could."

***

"There's frustration, but no anger. I was very fit and I tweaked my Achilles a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping it would last, but it just wasn't in the cards. The old body just isn't as young as it used to be. I felt it after one kilometer. After four laps it was bad. I didn't want to rupture it."

***

"I wanted to get that one out of the way. I just have to run a good race in the final. I felt smoother and more relaxed (than at the NCAAs)."

***

"I clipped the first hurdle, so that just broke all of my momentum and set me up for the rest of the race. But I managed to gather myself and advance for the next round, so I'm pleased. I was planning on winning the heat, but the clip really threw me off."

***

"My goal today was to get a feel for the track. This is my first meet on a Mondo surface and it gives back a lot quicker to your stride, so you have to adjust. My next race I'll feel much cleaner."

***

"I'm a lot more confident than I've ever been. My training's been stronger and coming off last year really helped. Obviously, I'll get a lot more aggressive with each round. I'm ready to put together a good race."

***

"My personal coach (George Williams) is an Olympic coach, and with him I've been doing just fine. My hard work and dedication has helped me. I've been through a lot of rough things, a lot of trials and tribulations and I can't let that stop me. Instead, I work harder and harder."

***

"I haven't been to this track since high school. For my race, I didn't come out as fast as I wanted to, but I felt pretty comfortable and got through the race. I want to get in the groove."

***

"My heart goes out to him; he's a great competitor. Am I relieved that he's out? Yeah. You never know what can happen in track & field. I made the finals; that's all you can ask for."

***

"Every time we go out there it's a level playing field. I'm going out there Sunday like I'm a nobody. I'm super confident that I'm making the team-but I say that very humbly."

***

"Oh boy, I'll tell this story a lot I guess. On my third attempt I stopped short of taking off because the wind hit me. As I started to go back down the runaway to restart my run, I asked how much time I had and was told 12 seconds. I ran to the back of the runway and grabbed a different pole because I was tired. As I picked the pole up the official at the pit raised the red flag. It takes you out of your rhythm. I didn't even know whether they were going to count the final jump."

***

"The long jump is so much about timing and focus, and when something happens to distract you, it's really hard to deal with. And I've never been the best at dealing with things like that in the past. I said after last year, 'I'll never let myself be that disappointed again.' This is par for the course for me at these kinds of meets. I'm absolutely in shock."

***

"This is what I do for a living and the Olympics are a very small part of that. It's something that happens once every four years. I believe that maybe there's a little bit of luck-or, in my case, bad luck-that sort of comes with that. I was fortunate to go to the Olympics once and I'll cherish that forever. But I'm obviously disappointed."

***

"I qualified today, that was my goal. I gotta run the 100 meters tomorrow so I had to use as little energy as possible. That's what I did. It was good. The conditions were a bit windy, but I felt good about it. Overall I was satisfied. The wind makes you run a little faster. I was able to adjust."

***

"I got the first jump right, so that's all I needed. I'll save the rest for Sunday in the finals. I'm still trying to get into my best shape ever, and will if I make the team. I haven't been jumping as much in meets due to a foot injury. Its a little tendonitis in my jump foot, but it's going away."


CHAPTER SIX

Convicted Without a Trail

Unknown runner Jarvis Edwin qualified in an unbelievable 6 events and makes the Olympic team in a record 6 events, and possibly 8 with the relays. Jarvis surprised everyone by qualifying through the prelims. No one thought he would have the strength to land third place finishes in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, and long jump events just like he did at the Albuquerque qualifier for the Trails. This is another first; the first time in history that an athlete has accomplished this feat. There is still much controversy as to how this young man could have done this. Drugs are heavily suspected. Edwin was tested after each event but was found to be negative on all tests.

CEO of the US Olympic Committee, Scott Clack has called for an investigation into Jarvis Edwin's drug test results saying that they may have been tampered with. Clack, whose son Gerald was beaten by Edwin and didn't make the team, is furious that a suspected drug user is on the team. Clack recently commented, "We shouldn't allow individuals that are obvious criminals to represent this country in the Olympic Games. This is a travesty! My All-American son has been left off the team because of a druggy! There will be an investigation to get to the bottom of this and I assure you that justice will be done."

Athlete Quotes - Last Day Olympic Trials

"I'm very happy to represent the US in the 100 and 200. I'm confident we'll go out on the track and represent. I'm ready to run to the best of my ability and bring home some medals. Do I think Jarvis will be on the team? That's not up to me."

***

"I just went out and let it go. It feels good to go under 20 twice, but it would have been better to do it four times. That will come soon. That Jarvis guy surprised us all. Drugs? No comment."

***

"In the semis, I tore some skin off the bottom of my big toe. Last night, I had to do a lot of surgery, tape it up, and put alcohol on it. There was a lot of competition out there, so I either had to cut off my toe and sow it back on after, or suck it up and do it. I'm not happy about Jarvis making it, but not my call."

***

"I was mad about the 100 because Jarvis got in and not me, so I'm happy to be here in the 200. This is a revolution, and be sure to cheer for us in Berlin, all except Jarvis Edwin."

***

"I thought I had a decent start, but my legs wouldn't get going and I got the infamous fourth spot. I knew they were getting away, but thought I had enough speed. I guess I ran out of real estate. I'm still going to Athens in the relay, so I can't be disappointed. I ran to the best of my abilities without drugs.

***

"This is a tough meet and the best guys came out on top. They showed their power and force, and they deserved it, well maybe. I didn't come to play. I'm only 25 years old, so I still have some years left in me. For some reason, I couldn't execute any power on the track. That may have been because I was putting so much emphasis on my technique. I didn't take first, didn't set any records, but I made it. Jarvis Edwin, I believe is taking a spot that should go to someone else. Someone not suspected of taking drugs. Just my opinion."

***

"I knew it was going to take a really decisive move to break away from those guys. I knew if someone came with me, they were going to be hurting just as much as I was. Why can't US milers do better on the international scene? The answer is for me to go out, run, and try to beat as many guys as I can. Not just in the US, but in the rest of the world. That Jarvis guy got in by the skin of his teeth, we'll see how long he lasts."

***

"When Alan made his strong move at 800 meters that was one of the hardest, strongest moves I've ever seen in a race. African runners treat it like 'Africa against the world'; we need to do that too. We need to treat it like 'Americans against the world', and not me against Alan. In the US, we need to come together to see how we can run against the world. I'm not worried about Edwin, not my problem."

***

"When Edwin made his move, I tried to keep as much contact as I possibly could. At 400 meters, I went as hard as I could to try and catch him and it got me to fourth, so I'm happy with that. We'll see if I move up or not when he's kicked off the team."

***

"I felt really good and bounced back after the NCAA's. I've never run from the back before. I was too far off the pace up front with 700 to go, but I was making up ground the whole way until the last 800. I was a lot more tense at the NCAA's and more out of it mentally. I kept my head clear here; Alan deserves the win. We worked out three times a week in the fall, and then again in the spring when he got back. He's like a teammate. Not so sure about Jarvis, never heard of him before this meet."

***

"My spike ripped open on me, but I dealt with it. I knew if Paul got a jump, it would be hard to catch him. When he is four seconds better than the rest of the field, it was basically two races and I should have tucked in early and focused on winning the battle for second. It's too bad I couldn't run well for the hometown crowd. I'm not sure if this is it for me, I have to make some money some time and start saving. Regardless, this sport has meant a lot to me and my life, in high school and college, and it still does. Being able to work out on a Wednesday with Coach Gagliano is a special thing and what this sport should be about. It should not be about taking drugs just to show off in front of the cameras. I'm not naming any names but you know who I'm talking about."

***

"I was having problems with a shoe today and I was changing my stride to try and fix it, but couldn't quite get it worked out. I came in fit and was ready to go. It's too bad I didn't get the "A" standard a few weeks ago in Europe. I'm the defending champion, but all I could do was run for second today. I didn't expect Jim to open up such a big gap, even though everyone knew he would make a move. I figured it would be after the 400 or as late as 600 to go. I haven't seen a move like that since Gabe Jennings did it in Greece. Hey I don't worry about who finished behind me. I worry about catching the guy in front. Edwin won't be my problem in Germany."

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