Even though the U.S. is going through a renaissance, the last 14 years have pretty much rewritten the record books for H.S./Jr. middle and long distance performances, yet we still can't compete with the African juniors. Alan Webb the American H.S. record holder in the mile by a significant margin, had he competed in world jrs in 2001, he probably would not have won a medal. The same for German Fernandez in 2008 or Lukas Verzbicas in 2011. I remember the excitement in 2010 when college freshmen Robby Andrews and Casimir Loxsom represented the U.S. in the 800m at world jrs. Someone said, they will probably go 1-2 and I said, I'd be surprised if either one of them won a medal. I caught a flack for saying that. Btw, I was wrong, Loxsom did win a medal, but the Kenyan athlete who finished ahead of him looked to me like he was running just fast enough to win and a week later he was competing on the European circuit and running a second faster. Although age cheating is less pervasive among females, I said almost 2 months ago that America's greatest H.S. Middle distance runner, Mary Cain was not guaranteed a medal in any event. The Africans are well aware of Mary Cain and they will put forth whatever athlete is required to beat her and age won't matter one bit.
How bad is the situation? - 'very bad' I suspect it is rare that an African athlete is the correct age, I estimate that over 90% of the African athletes are over age. How much over age are they? - 'In some cases very old' Over the years I have been able estimate a couple of athletes being close to 30, with most of them in their mid-20s and very few legit 18 and 19 year olds. How is this possible? - 'It's easy' The IAAF leaves it up to nations to verify the age of its athletes and does not have the will to challenge the Track and Field NGOs. Even in cases as obvious as a Kenyan athlete in his second year at an American university, with an older brother running world jrs. Why no one does anything about it? - There are many people connected to this scam that benefit from it, some of them are the most respected people in track and field. Except for the athletes themselves, coaches and the sports NGOs, most of the people participate indirectly. All Kenyan athletes, including the Kenyan and ex-Kenyan athletes competing in the U.S. know about it, all of your top coaches and agents of African athletes, Simms, Flynn, Bro Colm O’Connell, Coach Renato Canova...basically any athlete from Kenya or anyone who works with Kenyan athletes participates 'indirectly' by at the very least pretending it does not exist. Why people connected to the problem rarely even speak about it? - 'conspiracy of silence' East African countries are very poor and a couple of good seasons on the European circuit can support an athlete and often their extended family for life and this is so important that there is an unwritten rule to not interfere with that and unfortunately, African athletes are subject to higher standard. A Kenyan running a 3:35 1500m needs 18 years old to get into the money races.
For the record, there are countries outside of Africa that age cheat as well, namely China, the DR and Cuba.