grand slam wrote:
Blood "doping" was actually legal in track & field until 1985. I have no idea whether or not his Lordship used the technique during his career however. Steve Ovett's coach Harry Wilson seemed to be keen on the concept. Renato and his fellow Italian coaches certainly were up to speed on the technique, I'm not sure Renato was a big fan of it though.
Coe was instrumental in getting blood doping added to the IAAF list of bans when he produced a paper with Lord Moynihan in 85, so I doubt he'd go out of his way to get it banned if he was using it to help him run faster!
I strongly doubt either Coe or Ovett ever used blood doping in their careers. There have been some cryptic responses and admissions from some of the long distance Italians and Finns in the late 70's & 80's, but it seems to me that there are only unsubstantiated rumours concerning the Brits. In fact, I can't think of any middle distance runners from that era being caught or admitting to using it, and I doubt any 800 or 1500 runners at the time considered it as much of a benefit.
I think the only PED use on the men's middle distance scene at the time was possibly the East Europeans, who always seemed to run above themselves (Beyer in Prague, Straub in Moscow) when ruuning in a Championship held behind the Iron Curtain. And then it was more probably steroids than blood transfusions.
Moreover, with Coe's huge profile in Athletics, then Politics and now with the IAAF and Olympics, I'm sure that the British press would have found and used something against him if there was any truth in wrong doing. They found out he cheated on his wife and published. But a blood doper? I really don't think so.
There is certainly zero indication of Coe using blood transfusions. Wilson was quoted along the lines of as it's not illegal we'd give it some thought. Certainly no admission of use. Ovett's disastrous LA experience certainly looked a bit like blood doping gone wrong, but it could have been anything, who knows.
Renato has discussed the Italians use of the technique on a number of occassions.
The Finns and Russians used it routinely among their xc skiiers in those days. It's hard to imagine that it wouldn't have been also used among some of their distance runners.