"Wonderful news, don't you think?" said a beaming Sebastian Coe, head of the IAAF, at a press conference in London yesterday. Sitting alongside Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, Coe could hardly conceal his joy. "We've tried everything. We've campaigned across all countries in the world with the slogan: 'Please refrain from using performance-enhancing drugs, otherwise it won't be fair!'. And, at last, our pleas have been heard and our efforts rewarded. All federations have told us by phone or email that their athletes do not use any form of doping whatsoever. Thomas and I are over the moon about this. It really does call for celebrations!"
This could be good news after suspicions voiced following the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in September. Eyebrows were raised when Christian Coleman won the 100m final for the USA with a syringe dangling from his calf. "I really can't see the problem," said Coe. "The jab was for hay fever, and he couldn't remove it in time. Perfectly plausible..."
Meanwhile, further magnificent athletic feats have been recorded this month. Sabulenka Sawlanka, of Russia, threw the hammer an incredible seven miles at the national championships while, at the same event, Ravlinka Ravlenka put the shot over the stadium roof into a nearby lake. In Ethiopia, Haret Hanras Havarat completed the marathon in just under eleven minutes, and in the pool, US swimmer Jez Mankies won the 100m breast in twelve seconds.
"These things happen," explained IOC boss, Bach. "The human body is capable of marvellous things. We mustn't always think something fishy's going on, just because athletes excel in their discipline. You have to trust people. No-one would deliberately cheat, would they? They're simply dedicated to their sport."
Coe confirmed rumours that Disneyland has applied to host the 2028 Olympic Games.