Skip to main content

Kawauchi Speaks Out on Doping Problem

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/11/14/kiji/K20151114011507760.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The civil servant runner has spoken out.  In an interview on Nov. 14 following his appearance at a talk show event ahead of the Nov. 15 Saitama International Women's Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) addressed the problem of systematic doping in the Russian athletics world.  "All of the strict drug testing we have to go through, and now this?  It's really unpleasant news," he said.

For elite athletes drug testing is rigorous and strict.  Since his breakthrough to the top level of the sport in Japan at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon Kawauchi has been tested over 30 times.  He and other athletes must report their daily whereabouts to the JADA in conjunction with WADA and are subjected to surprise, unannounced testing.  Kawauchi has been woken up for testing at 6:00 a.m. in the days before major races and while relaxing at home at 9:00 p.m.  In some of his testing Kawauchi has had blood samples taken by poorly skilled medical personnel who left his arm bruised and swollen following multiple withdrawals of blood.  To eliminate the possibility of fraud, urine samples must be given with pants lowered to the knees and shirt raised under the arms, all in front of the eyes of testing personal.

Despite the embarrassment, inconvenience and even pain, Kawauchi said that he is happy to do the testing to help ensure clean sport.  "Reporting whereabouts is a good thing, but it's a real headache," he said.  "You have to look up the address and contact info for any hotel you're going to stay in and even put in your flight numbers.  The rest of us have to go though this in the name and spirit of fair competition, and then we hear about systematic doping by a federation?  Honestly, I feel like, 'Somebody do something, for God's sake!'"  He could not hide his concern about the future of testing.  "I think things like whereabouts are going to become even stricter now, and that could become a real burden for a lot of athletes," he said.  "It would be better if they made us all wear GPS tracking devices."

Due to the IAAF's provisional suspension of the Russian Federation, Russian athlete Tatyana Arkhipova has been blocked from competing on Kawauchi's hometown soil at the inaugural Saitama International Marathon.  "That's the way it goes," he said.  "Too bad."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …