Usain Bolt Is Not Human. Or, He Cheated, I think.

21Aug08

Usain Bolt poses after establishing the 200M World Record, originally uploaded by iceman9294.

Usain Bolt’s should be track’s version of Babe Ruth.  The new “fastest man in the world” crushed the world record in the 100-meter dash on Saturday, and yesterday he beat Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old record in the 200-meter dash, by .02 of a second. Such a dominating performance conjures comparisons to Jesse Owens, making me think Mr. Bolt cheated. Or, that all sprinters cheat nowadays.

Don’t get me wrong. Jamaicans are mad good at track and have a history of not cheating. Their women just swept the 100, the first time that has ever happened. And, Bolt is pure, lean power. The ease with which he runs is beautiful.

But in the wake of track’s recent doping problems (mostly of the USA’s doing), I have a hard time believing he ran that fast without some help.

My reasoning is simple, mostly coming from Steven Jay Gould’s book Full House. When a sport is young, the best training methods are yet to be discovered. So records are more easily broken. But over time, records decrease in frequency and times tend to flatten out. Human potential to run fast – or do anything, for that matter – is not unlimited. At some point we just can’t go much faster. (For a graph of recent 100-meter times and a comparison with the marathon, see here).

My problem with Bolt is that he’s too good. He started jogging and celebrating his victory in the 100 well before the finish line. His time of 9.69 could have easily been in the 9.5s. Maybe his jogging was designed. If he obliterated the previous record – set earlier in the year at 9.72 – more question marks would be arising.

From 1968 to 1988, the world record improved by a mere .02 of a second. However, from 1988 to 2008, the same record has jumped .23 of a second. Much of the recent improvement has come in the past few years.

But, who knows, maybe Bolt and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, who set the record four times in the past three years, are phenomenal athletes. And the competition between the two is the key to their success.

I doubt it. Especially with how dirty sports have become.

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10 Responses to “Usain Bolt Is Not Human. Or, He Cheated, I think.”

  1. 1 neil

    I could understand your feeling that way if Usain had just burst onto scene. This however is not the case as his natural talent appeared as a young teenager ai William Knibb High in Trelawny, Jamaica. He won The 200m at the World Youth Champs (a record I believe). He followed this up with another 200m record at the World Junior Championships.

    Here in Jamaica we have been waiting for him to translate his form and talent to the big stage. There have been questions about his lack of focus in his training (the young man likes to relax). Finally we have seen in the past 18 months a different focus in him. A more stringent training regimen and it is paying off.

    This from a man who everyone who watched him through his high school years believes is a better 400M runner. He however has said that the training for a 400M race is too grueling and he does not enjoy it.

    Bolt is clean. he is just a phenomenal talent that has been well prepared and is ready for the world.

  2. 2 Faith

    I guess you people doesn’t know us very very well. we are alot of things but our athletes would never take drugs as this country is very unforgiving.

  3. 3 J. Tribley

    Okay. If he cheated or is something as you are insinuating — why have all of his blood tests (that have been taken after each race and at other random times throughout the week) all come back clean?

    You are just jealous!! Stop writing such PUSS LOGIC!!

  4. 4 Teppo

    PUSS LOGIC? Why? Could it be that ahtletes don’t use the drugs that are being screened for, but something say like Peroxygen, which is basically impossible to detect? Why would that be jaleaousy? So many athletes have cheated in the past, are you saying that none of them do anymore??. Kuddos if that particular one is clean. But because there’s been so many in the past, there’ll always be doubt. No my fault. Theirs.

  5. 5 frank

    Hey tribley, there was this guy in Britain who confessed that he was on drugs and passed all his tests, so don’t be so naive to think that just because someone passes a test they are clean. Bolt & Powell are definitely on something, that is a given, especially that CHEAT Bolt.

    PS Do all Jamaicans dance like that.

  6. the dance is called The gully creeper and the other one is NUH LIGA(DONT STAY). The american media is behaving like bolt just came down from the sky and ran his times, he proved he was a world leader 15yrs. if you look at the games closely at Phelps he was more of an eye opener than bolt. He did world records with water in his eyes. Think about it isnt that something more than normal. Come on how can people think that Jamaican developed a drug that the rest of the world dont have or a lab in America made one and gave it to the Jamaicans. Americans need to understand that they are not the only CHAMPIONS in the world

  7. 7 renae

    Frank if you have a problem with the way Jamaican sdance then thats too bad. but do not take it out on Bolt’s running.

  8. 8 dg

    When a record is beaten by the degree that the 100m was then it is only natural to suspect cheating. This is not an attack against an entire country, rather against a single athlete.

    But as you brought it up; yes Usain has tested clean at Beijing. What about off season when he is training on his own, in Jamaica? Drug tests must be performed year round to have validity. Why does the Jamaican Association refuse to perform year round testing, and in case you use the “Jamaica is to poor” argument why do they refuse to grant access to foreign regulatory commissions?

    I was willing to give Usain the benefit of doubt until I found out about all the problems within the Jamaican Athletic Association regarding routine, year-round testing.

  9. 9 Inevitable

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/more/09/02/jamaican.track/index.html

    The inevitable just happened. Say goodbye to your medal Usain. It’s only a matter of time now before you are linked.

    I feel bad for all the people that believed in you. However, it should have been evident by your performance. Too bad you are stupid and made it so obvious.

  10. 10 John

    u just a bitch usian doesn’t take drugs he doesn’t need to,……There are ppl on this earth who are just NATURALLY talented like phelps and USAIN BOLT


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