Richard Kilty has ignited a furious war of words with fellow British sprinter Reece Prescod, proclaiming it “f—ing bulls—” for Prescod to forgive CJ Ujah for his failed drugs test.
Prescod this week said he and Ujah were on good terms, and he would like to see his former training partner running again, despite Ujah’s positive test causing the British men’s 4x100 metres team to be stripped of their Olympic silver medal from Tokyo last summer.
Prescod was an unused reserve in the relay team, with Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake forced to return their medals.
“Reece is not in a position to forgive anybody because he hasn’t lost a medal,” said Kilty. “It’s f—ing bulls— what he said, to be honest. It’s as simple as that.
“I’m not going to be politically correct. People say that the sport needs more honesty, but he hasn’t lost an Olympic medal. Would he say that if he lost an Olympic medal?”
Earlier in the week Prescod had said: “We’ve spoken, and me and CJ are cool. It was his birthday, I reached out to him, we had a conversation. He was very upset by what unfortunately happened. It would be nice for him to get back on a track and run again. It’s one of those unfortunate things that can happen.”
Ujah has blamed a contaminated supplement for the banned substances ostarine and S23 found in his urine, and is currently facing a potential four-year ban while awaiting sentencing.
Prescod finished last in the Birmingham Diamond League 100m in 10.65 seconds on Saturday, while Kilty was part of a British relay team that failed to get the baton round on their first outing since their Olympic heartbreak.
Adam Gemili replaced Ujah in the quartet, before speaking publicly for the first time about his decision to remain with his coach Rana Reider, who is subject to multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
Fellow British athletes Daryll Neita and Laviai Nielsen have left Reider’s group since it emerged Reider was under investigation, but Gemili has stuck with the American coach despite being dropped from funding for doing so.
“I’m in a sticky situation,” said Gemili. “Until there’s a verdict and I have the facts, I can’t make a decision.
“Everybody has their own decision and people left for different reasons. I won’t make any decisions until information has been relayed to me properly by the proper people.
“Those guys [Neita and Nielsen] made those decisions, I’m supportive of them. We’re still all cool.”
The US Center for SafeSport – an independent organisation that handles allegations of abuse within Olympic and Paralympic sports – has begun investigating Reider, but his lawyer, Ryan Stevens, said it had not yet filed a notice of allegations against his client. "We are fully prepared to defend any forthcoming allegations,” said Stevens. SafeSport said it did not reveal details of investigations.
Question marks over choice of track for Commonwealth Games venue
Concerns have been raised about the decision not to install a top-of-the-range track at Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games athletics venue after a series of slow performances at Saturday’s Diamond League meet.
The stadium was renovated for this summer’s Commonwealth Games at a cost of £72 million, but it has emerged that Birmingham City Council opted for a cheaper track to that used at the upcoming World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Senior figures in the sport have admitted the Birmingham track was chosen more for longevity than speed, with some questioning why Britain’s new showpiece venue has been put at a disadvantage to its global rivals.
Six world-leading marks were set in Birmingham on Saturday, but three were in field events and only one - the men’s 110m hurdles - was in an individual sprint event, which tend to benefit more from fast track surfaces.
Despite every man in the 100m possessing a personal best of 10 seconds or quicker, Aaron Brown’s winning time was just 10.13sec, while Dina Asher-Smith won the women’s 100m in a sluggish 11.11sec.
Yohan Blake, whose personal best of 9.69sec makes him the second-fastest man in history, came second in 10.18sec. He said: “I don’t know whether it is the cold, or what, but I know I am in great shape and the track was not quick.
“The breeze was positive. But I didn’t feel the bounce that I normally get. I have been running very fast in training and that wasn’t reflected out there today. I should have at least run 10 seconds.”
The Alexander Stadium track uses Beynon’s BSS 1000 system, which the company rates 4.5 stars compared to its more expensive, 5-star rated BSS 2000 system, which has been installed in Eugene and is deemed “Olympic calibre”.
Last year’s Tokyo Olympics track gained worldwide attention and was deemed to be the fastest ever, with its Mondo designers suggesting its “trampoline effect” could provide a one to two per cent performance advantage.
Sydney McLaughlin, who broke the 400m hurdles world record when winning Olympic gold in Japan, said: “You can feel the difference. A lot of people talk about the shoes, but I think it’s one of those tracks that gives you that energy right back, pushes you and propels you forward.”
Seb Coe, World Athletics president, last year admitted he was “genuinely torn” about track innovation. “My natural instinct is not to try and strangle innovation,” he said. “But of course there is a balance.
“We do need to make sure we’re not allowing designs or materials that really transform the sport into something we don’t recognise. I don’t think we’re there.”