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Athletics | International

Jean Pierre Schoebel (R) © Gallo Images

Too much emphasis on 100m - Schoebel

There is too much emphasis granted to the 100m, according to the director of the Monaco Diamond League, which will not have American Tyson Gay competing because of his positive drugs test.

Long dubbed the blue riband event of track and field, the 100m event is often scheduled as the highlight of a meet, notably after the arrival on the sprint scene of Jamaican star Usain Bolt.

Bolt's compatriot Asafa Powell and American arch-rival Gay were both announced last week to have failed drugs tests, plunging the sport into testing times just weeks away from the world championships in Moscow.

Monaco meet director Jean-Pierre Schoebel insisted that athletics was bigger than just the 100m.

"I totally agree that we give perhaps too much importantce to the 100m while there exist a lot of other events that people get passionate about," Schoebel told AFP ahead of Friday's meet.

"Personally, track and field must not be summed up by the 100m."

But Schoebel added that Gay's absence, while saving him in appearance fees, was not desirable.

"If we wanted to cut back, we don't invite (stars)," he said. "But it's not something favourable (for athletics or organisers) that we desire.

"Doping controls are increasingly efficient. The proof is that we find people out.

"We're the first to regret it, but that will not stop us from doing everything we can to organise a very good meet.

"Gay was without doubt the No 1. There are so many other trees that he will not hide the forest. A forest which is thick."


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