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Doping Scandals Already Overshadowing World Track And Field Championships

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Asafa Powell of Jamaica looks to the scoreboard after competing  the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Asafa Powell of Jamaica looks to the scoreboard after competing the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

MOSCOW (AP) — Even before a race has been run, doping scandals have begun to overshadow next month's world track and field championships.

Two of Usain Bolt's main rivals in the 100 meters — Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell and American sprinter Tyson Gay — failed doping tests in recent weeks. Sherone Simpson, another Jamaican, is also among the positive testers.

But Olympic champion runner Sebastian Coe, a vice president of track and field's ruling body, said Tuesday the competition is bigger than any individual athlete.

"We will have here in Moscow some of the world's greatest competitors, both domestically and internationally," Coe said. "And the message that should emanate from the last few weeks is that the IAAF (and others) take the abuse of drugs in sport very, very seriously."

The worlds start Aug. 10 and last nine days, and Powell and Gay won't be there.

"The message is very clear: If you choose to cheat, the technology is there and the will within the IAAF and within the international federations and the national governing bodies is there to make sure that our sport is clean and is competed all with integrity," Coe said.

Also, the organizing committee said authorities have taken all necessary security measures to keep the competition safe.

"We hope that our law enforcement agencies do a perfect job," said Alexei Vorobyev, the head of Moscow's sports department.

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