November 1, 2013
Geoffrey Mutai, the course record holder at the New York and Boston Marathons, is the favorite for Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon, even though he hasn’t finished a marathon in over a year, since last year’s 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon victory that netted him the $500,000 World Marathon Majors Prize.
Geoffrey addressed the media on Friday and he said everything bodes well for a good race on Sunday. He’s had two excellent prep half marathon races, a 59:57 Rio De Janeiro win in August and a 59:06 win in Udine, Italy in September.
We’re sure there will be a bunch of stories on Geoffrey coming out tonight elsewhere but one thing we wanted to focus on was Geoffrey’s comments on doping.
More and more Kenyan runners have been busted for doping recently, causing some to speculate that the lowering of marathon times recently is due to drugs. Here’s a post this week on the World Famous LRC forums in response to Kenyan athlete Liliane Jelagat testing positive for EPO.
“… given the fact that Kenyans over the last several years have suddenly produced literally dozens of marathoners running under the world record of only a decade or two ago, mostly managed by Europeans who presumably aren’t doing it as philanthropical work – you can at least understand that some people might be a little suspicious.”
A good friend of LRC has been constantly telling us the fast times can only be because of drugs. So we posed the question to Geoffrey, what would he tell our friend who says you can’t run 2:03 clean.?
Geoffrey’s answer speaks for itself:
“I’m happy to meet that guy and tell him, if you want to believe me, all the doping control, all what they want from me all the time, if it’s blood, urine, I’m okay (getting tested). All the time, I’m free. For me, when I was deciding to run, I did not decide myself. I was having a feeling in my blood that I’m a runner. I started running when I was young. So to go and start using other things (drugs), that is not within my mind. Even my family, my parents, they know where I was coming from… If you use drugs, you will suffer later. It’s better to have smaller things (accomplishments) than to have big things which you can’t enjoy in your life (because you doped).”
Mutai said the increased anti-doping efforts in Kenya are a good thing because he realizes all athletes, including the clean ones, come under suspicion when one athlete tests positive. He said, “The doping (officials) are doing a lot of work now, and that is good because what’s
happening with athletes using drugs, you don’t know how they get it, but it’s another bad picture for us as an athlete, as a famous athlete. All the things in sports, the good things coming to us, coming to runners because, when somebody uses drugs all the questions are coming to us.”
Mutai indicated that he believes some agents mislead runners into doping, telling the runners something is wrong with their blood, while other runners dope because they can’t achieve success and the riches that come with it without doping. He said, “Let’s say for the guys, you try to get rich, but you try to run, (but) cannot make it. So you try to get something. So they get liars. They lie to you.”
“All the time I’m comfortable to welcome them (the drug testers),” said Mutai.
We pulled out the doping questions to Geoffrey and his responses are below.
Discuss on the forums: For All Of You Who Don’t Think You Can Run 2:03 Clean, Geoffrey Mutai Has a Message For You
Geoffrey is self-coached and trains with a group of 60 in Kenya. He said he’s focused on doing shorter races (the two half-marathons) for his New York prep and it looks like it paid off based on those results. He said he usually runs 180 – 200 km a week.
Longer Geoffrey Q&A below where he talks about his NYC prep.
Discuss on the forums: For All Of You Who Don’t Think You Can Run 2:03 Clearn, Geoffrey Mutai Has a Message For You