Rupp puts tur­moil aside to de­fend 10,000m ti­tle


Galen Rupp capped a month of tur­moil with a sev­enth straight U.S. na­tional ti­tle in the 10,000m on Thurs­day, punch­ing his ath­let­ics World Cham­pi­onships ticket amid dop­ing ac­cu­sa­tions.

“It’s been hard I’m not go­ing to lie,” Rupp said of the al­le­ga­tions lev­eled in a BBC doc­u­men­tary in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ProPublica web­site that his coach, Al­berto Salazar, vi­o­lated var­i­ous anti-dop­ing rules and doped Rupp him­self with testos­terone in 2002 when Rupp was only 16.

“It has been dif­fi­cult to fo­cus,” the 10,000m Olympic sil­ver medal­ist said, adding that he was “100 per­cent be­hind” the de­tailed re­but­tal is­sued by Salazar on Wed­nes­day in which the coach said he would “never per­mit” dop­ing.

“I be­lieve in clean sport, and I think the truth will pre­vail,” said Rupp, who broke from a tight lead­ing group to seize the lead with three laps re­main­ing and pulled away in­ex­orably to win in 28min 11.61sec at the U.S. cham­pi­onships.

With Ben­jamin True (28:14.26) and Has­san Mead ( 28: 16.54) trail­ing in his wake, Rupp gave a thumbs-up sign as he crossed the line un­der Salazar’s watch­ful eye.

“It was ob­vi­ously a good test,” said Rupp, who re­ceived a warm re­cep­tion from his home state fans in Ore­gon. “A good field — they made it re­ally hon­est.”

Rupp re­it­er­ated his sup­port for Salazar, who also coaches the UK’s dou­ble Olympic and world cham­pion Mo Farah.

The Right Way

Farah hasn’t been ac­cused of wrong-do­ing, but he’s been dogged by ques­tions about whether he should con­tinue to train un­der Salazar in Ore­gon.

“We’ve talked, for sure,” Rupp said of Farah. “I can’t speak for him, ob­vi­ously, but I think we’ve got a great thing go­ing and he’s had great suc­cess. We know we do things the right way so re­ally that’s all I’ve got to say to him.”

Fac­ing a mas­sive scrum of jour­nal­ists, Rupp said he in­tended to keep his mind on his rac­ing through the end of the cham­pi­onships, with the 5,000m sched­uled for Sun­day.

“I’m ready “This is why to race,” he said. I com­pete and I’m not go­ing to let any­thing get in the way of that.”

Rupp isn’t the only ath­lete hop­ing to put dop­ing ques­tions be­hind him on the track this week, as vet­eran sprint­ers Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, both back from drugs bans, seek to set them­selves up to chal­lenge Ja­maican sprint king Usain Bolt at the World Cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing Au­gust 22-30.

Gay, try­ing to re­gain a place among the world’s elite af­ter serv­ing a one-year ban, eased into the 100m semi­fi­nals.

But the 32-year-old got a taste of how hard it might be to make a first World Cham­pi­onships team since 2009 as he fin­ished sec­ond in his heat to 22-year-old train­ing part­ner Re­mon­tay McClain.

McClain clocked a wind-aided 9.82sec­onds to Gay’s 9.85.

And 19-year-old col­le­gian Trayvon Bromell was also faster than Gay, win­ning his heat in 9.84 in a le­gal wind of 1.3 me­ters per sec­ond.

A Dif­fer­ent Era

“It was weird — maybe weird’s not the right word - the dif­fer­ent guys I’m run­ning with now,” Gay said. “It’s a dif­fer­ent era for me.”

But he was pleased with a per­for­mance that he be­lieves sets him up well for Fri­day’s semi­fi­nals and fi­nal.

“It felt good. I felt re­laxed,” said Gay, adding he man­aged to “get the nerves out of the way.”

Gay and the rest don’t have Gatlin to con­tend with in the 100m. He owns the two fastest 100m times in the world this year of 9.74 and 9.75, but has a bye into the worlds as the 2015 Diamond League 100m win­ner and is fo­cus­ing is at­ten­tion this week on the 200m and a pos­si­ble Bei­jing dou­ble.

In the women’s 100m heats, 2011 world cham­pion Carmelita Jeter blased to a wind-aided 10.87 to lead the way into the semi­fi­nals.

Jeter, who raced through a quadri­ceps in­jury to bronze at the 2013 world cham­pi­onships, just edged Jas­mine Todd, who fin­ished sec­ond in their heat in the same time in a fa­vor­able wind of 4.5 me­ters per sec­ond.

Among the seven fi­nals on the open­ing night of the meet­ing, Mar­quis Dendy punched his ticket to Bei­jing with a vic­tory in the men’s long jump with a wind-aided leap of 8.68m.

Jeffrey Hen­der­son, who owns the best jump in the world this year of 8.50, was sec­ond with 8.44m and Michael Hart­field was third with 8.42.

Amer­i­can record- holder Michelle Carter won the women’s shot put with a throw of 20.02m ahead of Tia Brooks (18.93m) and Jeneva Stevens (18.84m).

Molly Hud­dle won the women’s 10,000m in 31min 39.20sec ahead of 2008 Olympic bronze medal­ist Sha­lane Flana­gan (31:42.29) and Emily In­feld (31:42.60).


(Top) LaTavia Thomas breaks from the starters block as she com­petes in the Women’s 800 me­ter run dur­ing day one of the 2015 USA Out­door Track & Field Cham­pi­onships at Hayward Field in Eu­gene, Ore­gon on Thurs­day, June 25. (Above) Galen Rupp leads the pack as he com­petes in the Men’s 10,000 me­ter run dur­ing day one of the 2015 USA Out­door Track & Field Cham­pi­onships at Hayward Field in Eu­gene, Ore­gon on Thurs­day.


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