MVP head coach Stephen Francis has launched a scathing attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), branding the body and its current mode of operation as incompetent and a waste of money. According to Francis, one of the most successful track and field trainers, his objections stem from the fact that he does not believe WADA, in its current state, is geared towards the primary objective of preventing cheating in the sport.
“I think they are incompetent,” Francis said.
“They have been a waste of money. It was a lot better when sports used to fashion their own guidelines for catching cheats.”
The coach believes a major issue is that the body’s current testing practice targets the discovery of frivolous substances, which in his estimation provide no real benefit to the athlete at all, while more serious infringements go undetected.
“Wada is claiming success because they have caught people on amphetamines who are sprinters, who are they fooling. Meanwhile, I am informed that there are new steroids out there that they will not catch for another four years, unless somebody turns them in,” Francis said.
“The main job of the body is to ensure fairness in sports. In sprinting the main problem you are going to have are things like steroids, growth hormones, things like the bronchial inhalant, those are the things that directly impact on how fast you run. Then there are things like the masking agent diuretics … which helps to conceal substances,” he added.
“Then there are a host of other things that not only don’t help the sprinter, but actually harm them.
Amphetamine and other stimulants are forbidden, but when you have things that have your heart race and get you additional adrenaline, those are the last things a sprinter needs. What a sprinter requires at the top level is relaxation.
He doesn’t want to be tired by 40 metres because of an elevated heart rate.”
“In the past, they used to catch the people that run fast, now they catching people like Powell who run 10.2, slowest time in 10 years and you say he was cheating, how was he cheating? I think that they need to put their efforts into trying to get rid of serious drugs in the sports,” Francis said.
Francis currently trains former world’s fastest man, Asafa Powell, and Sherone Simpson, two of the athletes caught up in the latest spate of positive drug tests. Both athlete tested for the stimulant oxilofrine, but place the blame at the feet of Canadian trainer Chris Xuereb.