Today at the press conference the first 10 questions were not about drugs but then Alan Abrahamson asked a drug question and it was clearly a topic many of the journalists wanted answers to.
However, just like she did at the USATF outdoor press conference (see
) USATF Marketing and Communications Manager Christa Mann pushed the conversation away from drugs.
Update: I want to clarify one thing as while the topic was diverted from drugs like at the USATF press conference, Christa did allow multiple drug questions to be asked so this was overall different than the USATF presser. I just feel so strongly about anti-doping that I wish the topic had not been diverted to other issues
At the outdoor press conference, Mann did it in response to negative questioning after I asked Justin Gatlin a question and Gatlin refused to answer and then the Orange County Register's Scott Reid followed up with a similar question.
Today Mann shifted the questioning away from doping after Brenda Martinez was standing up for clean sport and saying the Russians should be banned from the Olympics. I believe it was Alan who wanted to hear what all the athletes had to say about the Russians. Brenda answered and then Mann cut in and somewhat awkwardly changed the subject before any of the other athletes spoke.
If a press conference is a PR enterprise for USATF then a lot less journalists will come. But even if USATF thinks only positive press should come from a press conference, USA's athletes standing up for clean sport is a good thing and should be encouraged.
Below is video today from Brenda and her talk on drugs. First is the exchange where Mann jumps in awkwardly at the end and then you have Brenda talking with a smaller group on whether the Russians should be banned from the Olympics.