The recent 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials were one of the most successful ever. Time will tell how the 2012 US track & field team will be rated, but, from all indications, the team is superb.
To provide you easy access to our Runblogrun coverage, with the work of six tremendous writers, and our photography team at PhotoRun.net, we are posting, day by day, the links to all pieces so that you can enjoy all of the excitement of the Trials, as you prepare to watch London 2012!View items...
"Adidas does not condone Luis Suarez's behavior and we will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players."
Adidas released this statement in response to Luis Suarez of Liverpool FC biting an opposing player during a match on Sunday.
Despite being one of the best players in the world, Suarez has a checkered past. He is perhaps best remembered for his infamous "Hand of Satan" handball against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup. His most egregious offenses to date include racially abusing an opposing player and defying the Football Association throughout the ensuing investigation, as well as biting a player in 2010 when he played for Ajax.
Although he apologized for both of his biting incidents he saw a lengthy ban for the first one and will face another lengthy ban for this latest incident, he was very unapologetic about his racism charge and remained defiant long after the incident. Throughout his career he has shown himself to be unrepentant for his wrongs.
I must commend Adidas for distancing themselves from their athlete for his violent act. In fact, I think this sets a great example of how sports companies like Adidas can manage the people they pay to represent their brand. Although Suarez made £6.24 million last year in salary from Liverpool FC, I'm sure he would miss the millions of pounds he makes from Adidas if they were to discontinue their endorsement deal with him. Liverpool FC could also suffer, as it almost did in 2011 when their £20 million per year shirt sponsor, Standard Chartered, publicly expressed concern of being associated with the club following Suarez's racist incident.
Sponsors rarely distance themselves from their athletes and breaking ties with them is almost unheard of. There have been many times when sponsored athletes have done absolutely reprehensible things both during and away from competition. However, there have only been a handful of times when a company has stopped endorsing an athlete because of his or her actions.
When it comes to anti-doping efforts in athletics, I think sponsors can play just as big of a role as USADA, WADA or any governing body. This is especially true in our sport because the vast majority of professional track & field athlete’s sole or primary source of income is their shoe contract. I look at this potential role that sponsors can play in fighting doping in athletics not as an obligation to them, but as a great opportunity for them to benefit the sport.
For many companies, it seems winning is the most important thing, especially when it comes to the athletes who represent their brand. However, the winning is everything ethic is the same thing that motivates people to use performance enhancing drugs, which is very problematic. I have come to realize during my own athletic career, that if all I got out from years of competing and training that there are much greater, tangible things to be gained from sports than winning.
After an athlete is convicted of doping, which is still unfortunately common in our sport, it is always sad to see shoe companies ready to take them back after their two-year ban is over. Thus, I was disappointed, but not surprised to see Mariem Alaoui Selsouli win the Pre Classic 3k last year, in a Nike uniform. This was one of her first races back after testing positive for EPO in 2009. It was unfortunate that she took away sponsorship money from deserving athletes and that she ended up winning the race over clean athletes. Two months later she tested positive for a banned diuretic after running a world leading 3:56 in Paris.
Right behind Alaoui Selsouli in Paris was Asli Cakir Alptekin, who also had a prior doping ban. Cakir Alptekin also ran for Nike and would later go on to test positive for a banned substance, after winning Gold at 1500 meters in London. Both of them face lifetime bans for their second doping offense.
Cakir Alptekin first tested positive for a banned substance at the 2004 World Junior Championships. On March 22nd of this year WADA reported that she again tested positive for a banned substance. The IAAF has put the onus on the Turkish federation to punish her and a lifetime ban is certainly possible. With the vote for the 2020 Summer Olympics only a few months away, the Turkish Olympic committee cannot afford to be seen as being weak on drugs. Making a strong statement against the doping of one their own Gold medal winners will only strengthen the Istanbul bid. Cakir Alptekin was recently left off the Turkish team for the Mediterranean Games in light of these most recent doping allegations.
I think that if Nike, and other companies that have shown a committed investment in athletics are serious about helping grow the sport, they should be wary of signing athletes that have been convicted of doping in the past. Regardless of where their fitness is at the end of their ban, they proved in the past that the way they achieved what they did before their ban was by using banned substances. So they shouldn't be surprised when they do it again.
These companies can use the powerful tool of money, in the form of shoe contracts, to show athletes everywhere that doping truly does not pay. I recommend that, if they aren't doing it already, companies that sponsor athletes put a clause in the contract that an athlete has to repay all or part of the salary and bonuses given to them if they are found guilty of doping. Luis Suarez has been given a warning he might lose money unless he keeps his nose clean. All sponsored athletes, especially those with troubled pasts, should be given the same warming.
Perhaps the same should apply to countries as well. Turkey gave Cakir Alptekin $1,000,000 in gold after her victory and before her doping came to light. I wonder if she'll have to give it back.
Boulder, CO, USA - October 9, 2012 - For the first time, an elite running group has released its training methods. In their new book Hansons Marathon Method, the coaches of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project have open-sourced their innovative and highly successful approach to marathon training.
KARHU ORIGINALS TOUR PACKS AIRSTREAM FOR CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP Runners Chosen for 6,000 Mile Journey to Relive Glory Days of 1970sWritten by Super User
BEVERLY, MA (September 6, 2012) – Three intrepid young runners (one Finnish, two American) will be on the sabbatical of a lifetime as they climb aboard the converted Airstream for a cross-country trip with Finland’s Legendary Running Brand, Karhu.
SportsArt Fitness introducing the new ECOFIT Networking System for their electricity-producing Green SystemWritten by Super User
The New EcoFit Networking System and Display - The ECOFIT Networking System and Display will revolutionize usage of exercise equipment in clubs, fitness facilities, hotels, universities and schools. It's a system that shows users how much electricity they are producing on in-club digital media displays; allows for localized facility and environmental, "green" messaging on the display screen and includes a "points" accumulation system for energy created by the user. These points can then be redeemed at the club or a hotel, university or school with fitness facilities - building brand loyalty and user loyalty for the facility.
Free Run4Good™ app - available September 5 - to support National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month; brand challenges community to do good by doing what they love: running - LEXINGTON, Mass. - (August 29, 2012) - Today, a third of American children are overweight or obese, posing a serious health threat to the future of our kids. This September, in support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel is issuing a national challenge to runners everywhere to help reverse this trend: Download Saucony Run4Good™, the running industry's first-ever iPhone app dedicated to battling childhood obesity…and go run. With every mile, runners will be earning money for community youth running programs, putting kids back on the fast track to health.