Kersee wants same-day testing by event for top athletes

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 07, 2015 6:28 PM

(Reuters) - Long-time U.S. sprint coach Bob Kersee wishes anti-doping protocols were changed to ensure athletes were equally tested, he told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.

"I've always said that if you were going to test one of my athletes who was competitive in the sport, that everybody else (in that event) should be tested on the same day," said Kersee, who has coached numerous Olympic champions, including his wife Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the retired heptathlon world record holder.

"For example, if Jackie was going to be tested in the long jump, and she was in the top eight, the top eight athletes should be tested on the same day."

Kersee, who is preparing Olympic 200 meters gold medallist Allyson Felix for the 400 at the Aug. 22-30 IAAF world championships in Beijing, also said there should not be a wide variation globally in the number of times an athlete is tested.

"I have had athletes such as Jackie, such as Allyson, to name a few, that were tested and tested and tested and I have worked with a couple of foreign athletes," he said.

"In the same period of time, we (his U.S. athletes) were tested three times and they (the foreign athletes) haven't been tested yet.

"If you are asking me is the testing protocol fair? I don't believe it is, not internationally. Why that is, I don't know. It might just be the roll of the dice, but I don't know."

Kersee said he would welcome anti-doping officials testing his athletes at any time.

"As you well know, I have been through allegations (in past years) of being a doping coach but... (it's) 40 years later (and) everybody has passed the tests and has represented the United States and other countries."

As long as global officials are doing their job, clean athletes everywhere have nothing to worry about, he added.

"Our sport should say, 'If you are cheating, then we are going to try to catch you'," Kersee said, "and those athletes will pay the consequences."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina)