Powell against Russians at Rio

Powell against Russians at Rio

Reeling under one doping controversy after the other, Russian athletes are in a race against time to get clearance to compete at the Rio Olympic Games.

Mike Powell feels they shouldn’t allowed to take part as corrupt practices are deep-rooted in the Russian system.

“They have been doing that for a long time. I feel sorry for a lot of the athletes but there is a system. They have to break the system, change the culture and that’s going to be tough,” Powell says.

“Russia is a different place. They have a different way of doing things. Every country has a way of doing things and Russia is like hard. They want to do well, then they are going to make it happen. Whenever there is a World Championships in the Soviet country, when I was there I was like ‘I bet you, they are going to have 5-6 who win.’ And half of them are dirty.

“It’s unfortunate but when I was competing my coach told me ‘you can get the same result as someone using steroids by training smart and hard.’ All steroids does is to make sure you can train harder the next day. You recover faster.

“You can tell when people are guilty. They don’t celebrate that much and I go ‘man you won the gold in Olympics and that’s all you got?’

Doping rows are rocking track and field but Powell feels much of the criticism is unfair. He though backs a life-ban for cheats.

“I think that athletics is not treated fairly,because we are the ones who bust our stars. Other sports don’t do that. And we get blamed for it,” he says.

“You know people are going to cheat. Every line, any endeavour you get into — where there’s money, power or influence involved, people are going to cheat.

“No matter what you do, people are going to cheat. If you get caught, you should be gone to life. Unless there are some circumstances where may be some mistakes in testing has happened.”

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