As a Masters sprinter/ hurdler (40-44), always disappointing to read news like this.
Regarding comments about the pervasiveness of cheating in Masters track, at least as far as I can tell on the sprints side, I'm guessing the percentages are relatively low (but I'm sure there are some out there). There are so few sprinters / jumpers / hurdlers still competing past age 25 in the non-elite circuit that just showing up and staying healthy is the big thing. I talk to a lot of Masters sprinters and not once have I ever heard anyone talking about banned substances / supplements. Not saying it's not out there--I'm sure it is, but because there is no $$ to be won, and no road race glory to be had, I think it's a bit of a different world from those running longer distances.
On a related point -- I've been hurdling every year since 1993, and I would second Smoove's point that to PR in your 40s is rare (and at least cause for a deeper look). From my peak speed in college and post-college, my average m/s speed is 90% of what it was and my 400m and 400m Hurdles times are both 5-6 seconds slower.
Part of this is due to lack of training time (lots of work, 2 kids, all the usual stuff that comes with life). But even if I had the luxury of training full time, my guess is that I'd be at least 3-4 seconds off my 400m bests. There is just an extra gear that I don't have anymore.
That said, still love it and will hurdle until my body says no. Hope to see more Masters sprinters out there once COVID clears!
Setting open PRs in your 40S is rightfully going to make people ask questions.
I am one of those “fresh body” guys. Didn’t run in high school, walked on in college, left the scene for the most part until just before 40.
I was able to come back and have a great masters career, but if you look at my best times In my primary race (5k), I was a minute slower in my 40s than in my early 20s. Those times lined up very well from an age grading perspective though.
So while open PRs or huge jumps in age grades performance for younger masters athletes aren’t absolute evidence of cheating, they should certainly make people take a closer look at the athlete.