Monday, 13 August 2012

Want to run 9.58? Speak to Bolt's chemist Angel Hernandez


Angel Hernandez, formerly known as Angel Heredia once asked his father could he take an aspirin before competing. As a teenager he believed in clean sport and considered doping a crime, as an adult he believes EPO, insulin, testosterone, epitestosterone and adrenaline should all be legal in sport. He believes legalising substances that the body produces itself will enable the fairness and equality everyone supposedly wants, his words. To Heredia doping went from being a crime to a necessity, what changed?

A former national discus champion himself, Heredia admits that he was nothing special outside of Mexico. He had tried his hand at numerous sports before settling on track and field and in the beginning he thought he could compete clean. Suddenly athletes he'd previously been beating started throwing ten meters further, he couldn't recover between training sessions and he started to pick up injuries. The Olympics were on the horizon and Heredia desperately wanted to go, everyone else was doping so why shouldn't he? Heredia took growth hormone and testosterone but he still failed to achieve his Olympic dream, this is where everything changed. His father had been a chemistry teacher and Heredia shared that interest. He started to read anything he could find on medicine, he spoke with other athletes and soon he was the man to turn to when it came to avoiding positive tests. He was approached by the Jamaican Trevor Graham, a silver medalist from the 1988 Olympic games in the 4x400m relay. Graham wanted help understanding how EPO worked, Heredia was more than happy to assist. Given the opportunity to work with the world's best he thrived, he took the best and made them artificially better. Heredia created over 20 different drugs that he claims are still undetectable, he changed molecules to alter the structure of drugs to keep them undetectable, he knew that certain tablets block the excretion of steroid metabolties, he used enzymes that consume proteins to change the values of an A and B sample along with chemicals to prevent acidification in the muscles hours before competition, the list goes on. Heredia was able to take 400m runner Jerome Young from a lowly 38th in the world to the top step at an Olympic games within a year, he was that good.

Heredia made a good living as a chemist to the stars. Including Marion Jones he aided almost 20 athletes at his peak, all of them paying upwards of $15,000 a year as well as bonuses of up to $40,000 for big wins. His athletes won 26 Olympic medals between them and much like Eufemiano Fuentes in cycling he could almost decide who won what race. In the run up to Sydney 2000, Graham and Heredia's relationship started to break down following the positive test of Marion Jones' then husband C.J. Hunter. Money was the catalyst for disaster and Heredia was left $29,000 out of pocket, money owed to him by Graham and his athletes. The relationship was beyond repair and Heredia ceased working with Graham after the Sydney games although most of the athletes continued to work with him.

In 2003 Heredia started working with Maurice Greene. Greene wanted to hold onto his Adidas contract and win a medal in the Athens games having slipped somewhat since Sydney. Heredia talked with Greene on a regular basis to discuss his test results and to make sure he was sticking to the schedule and protocols laid out. Greene still denies any involvement with doping despite the fact Heredia has a $10,000 receipt from Greene for the drugs and schedules supplied. Greene claims the $10,000 was a payment on behalf of someone else, a supposedly clean athlete paying for another's drug use apparently.

By the middle of 2004 the Feds were keen to talk with Heredia. Graham had decided to send a syringe containing THG to USADA in 2003 and an investigation into Graham was now in full swing. Friends of Heredia advised him to lie low in Mexico until the investigation was concluded however Heredia had just started a Kinesiology degree and he had no intention of quitting that. 

In 2005 Heredia returned to his room on the campus of Texas A&M University to find Jeff Novitsky and Erwin Rogers waiting for him. They offered him a deal - tell us everything you know or we'll go after you. Heredia told all and became the primary witness in the case against Graham. Heredia escaped prosecution himself despite claims he wasn't offered immunity, Graham was banned from sport for life.

In 2008 Heredia changed his name to Angel Hernandez, he claimed this made it easier for American's to write it down. He gave revealing interviews and made his opinions on drugs in sport very clear. When asked whether he would be watching the 100m final in Beijing he replied "Of course, but the winner will not be clean". He made it clear he was of the opinion that all eight 100m finalists would be doped, that drugs are the difference between running 10.0 and 9.7 seconds (Usain Bolt went on to win the race in 9.69 seconds). Heredia made it clear that you can not become a world champion by simply taking a concoction of pills. You must have the talent, train hard and have the best support staff and coaches, then it's the best drugs that make the difference. As mentioned earlier Heredia announced that he was an advocate for naturally occuring drugs to be allowed in sports, he believes this will make sport fairer. It's clear that Heredia isn't apologetic for doping athletes, in fact he admitted he was proud of what he helped Marion Jones achieve.
I am of the opinion that if Heredia is working with an athlete, he's helping them dope. 

As I mentioned earlier Heredia thrives when he works with the best so who better to work with than the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. 

Bolt hired Heredia as a track 'coach' in 2009, the question you should ask is why a sprinter would need a man with Heredia's background? Why would Bolt need a coach better known for his abilities in the laboratory? The simple fact is a chemist will get you better results than any coach ever will. I don't believe Bolt to be cleaner than Jones or any other athletes that have been associated with Heredia. 

Between the 2009 world championships and London 2012 Bolt was relatively quiet, I do have my suspicions about the false start in the 2011 world championships but discussing that further would be akin to a tabloid story. I put this quiet period down to steroid cycling and only peaking for important events. What's the point of being able to run under 9.7 seconds in a race that won't be profitable? In non-Olympic or world championship years Bolt can make far more money being a celebrity than he can by running in smaller races. The world championships and Olympics are where the big money is found and I believe he uses Heredia's services to help him peak specifically for these events.

Bolt won another three gold medals in London and bettered his previous Olympic record to 9.63. He was the first man to defend both the 100 and 200m Olympic titles and as a result declared himself "the greatest athlete who has ever lived". It's not a title I agree with although I do see him as the fastest athlete to have ever lived. 

Of course I don't know for certain what goes on behind closed doors, for all I know Bolt could be completely clean. I would however like to ask him why he feels the need to associate with Heredia? A superstar athlete that employs a steroid dealer 'coach' will always bring questions and in my eyes there will always be a question mark over Bolt's unbelievable performances.

**UPDATE**

Response from Bolt's manager, Ricky Simms regarding Angel Herenandez: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=the-rundown/post/manager-linking-of-usain-bolt-to-admitted-steroid-dealer-completely-false.html

The fact that Ricky Simms stated Bolt had never worked with Heredia means nothing to me, we've had the same shit for years in cycling.

Did you work with Ferrari? No. Did you work with Fuentes? No. Did you work with Del Moral? No.

I never in a million years expected them to confirm the relationship, it'd be as damaging as testing positive. However I encourage people to read the link above and make their own mind up.

22 comments:

  1. have you any evidence that 'Bolt hired Heredia as a track 'coach' in 2009?'

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  2. Information I've gathered in boxing circles (Heredia is a known trainer of J.M.Marquez), Heredia's public statements on working with Jamaican athletes and Victor Conte's reference to Heredia and Jamaican athletes. Admittedly that isn't concrete and it's something I'll continue to work on however the Heredia link isn't new.

    Rumours and various stories have been circulating since 2010, I believe the only reason they are circulating to a greater extent now is because Bolt is back in the spotlight.

    I'm not a journalist of any sort but I really feel this story has potential. I'm hoping someone with more knowledge and experience in this field can uncover what I'm unlikely to.

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  3. So based on your comment above you have no proof Bolt hired Hernandez yet you state it as fact in your blog post. I hope you get sued. Then again you may not be significant enough for them to bother with you.

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    1. Willing to discuss it further if you'd put your name to your comment however I'm unaware of anyone ever getting sued for stating that someone had hired a coach.

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    2. You are outright calling him a drug cheat with less than zero proof. That is why you would and should be sued. People are now linking to this article on other forums and your claims are being taken as gospel.

      Like Conte who likes nothing more than the sound of his own voice, you should all be made to put up or shut up until such time you have information that actually catches people rather than just drags their name through mud.

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    3. I've only stated that he has a working relationship with Heredia as fact, everything following that is clearly written as my opinion or belief based on Heredia's past and Bolt's performances. I've stated that Bolt may be clean because I have no way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors. I also have no control over how people close to interpret my opinion.

      Before Bolt there hasn't been an Olympic Champion untarnished by doping charges or scandal since Allan Wells in 1980. In Beijing Bolt was 2% faster winning by 0.2 seconds coasting over the line. He didn't just beat the times of dopers, he smashed them to pieces. In the 80s the German's juiced to the eyeballs and couldn't even break 10 seconds, if you think Bolt can run half a second quicker clean you're kidding yourself.

      And again, I've put my name to my this post and I stand by what I've written. If you did the same I'd at least respect your views, until them.

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    4. You stated "Bolt hired Heredia as a track 'coach' in 2009"...no "allegedly" or "it is my belief" those words can be the difference between being slapped with a lawsuit or simply being ignored.

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    5. Anonymous, pull your head out of your ass.If you don't think the winners of most of these events, especially track and field, are doping you shouldn't even bother watching....

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  4. Once again, the bravest knee-jerk comments come from 'anonymous'. (Yeah, too lazy to login too...)

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  5. "I'm not a journalist of any sort but I really feel this story has potential"... So in essence, your speculating?!

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    1. Potential in the sense it would be huge if the relationship between Bolt and Heredia could be proven.

      Information from boxing circles, Heredia's public statements on working with Jamaican athletes and Victor Conte's reference to Heredia and Jamaican athletes in some eyes could be viewed as speculation. I'll admit it isn't 100% proof.

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    2. Would be more than huge I agree. Dreamer in me hopes it isnt true but can see the potential behind it for sure! Thanks for the response

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  6. "Heredia made it clear that you cannot become a world champion by simply taking a concoction of pills. You must have the talent, train hard and have the best support staff and coaches, then it's the best drugs that make the difference."
    I think this is probably the bit that a lot of people gloss over when somebody is exposed as a "drug-cheat". The hard work still has to be put in.

    I know athletes shouldn't be accused of using if there's no proof but an open mind should be kept as to what's happening. If previous, known drug enhanced performances are now being smashed, then shouldn't a critical eye be cast over those performances?

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  7. Yes, the old saying that you can't turn a donkey into a race horse springs to mind.

    Past performances have been scrutinised, there was talk of the IAAF basically resetting some women's field records set in the 80s a few years ago. Outside of athletics cyclists have been stripped of yellow jerseys decades after winning.

    Even some German athletes have admitted doping and requested their names be removed from the record books. http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100123-24775.html

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  8. http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/08/usain-bolt-and-steroids.html

    http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=the-rundown/post/manager-linking-of-usain-bolt-to-admitted-steroid-dealer-completely-false.html

    Turns out that there's absolutely no relationship between Heredia and Bolt.

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  9. The fact that Ricky Simms stated Bolt had never worked with Heredia means nothing to me, we've had the same shit for years in cycling.

    Did you work with Ferrari? No. Did you work with Fuentes? No. Did you work with Del Moral? No.

    I never in a million years expected them to confirm the relationship, it'd be as damaging as testing positive. However I encourage people to read the links above and make their own mind up.

    Interestingly Blake ran 9.69 tonight without the long legs and stride pattern that Bolt has, those being the apparent reasons as to why Bolt was able to run so fast. People forget so quickly, the 'he's a genetic freak' excuse at that level is just bullshit.

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    1. Blake has been busted for stimulants

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  10. angel (NO ANGEL) heredia is good at what he does which is supplying athletes with undetected super drugs but if he can not be caught with no evidence then he is clean.

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  11. If Johnson ran 9.79 juiced up to the eyeballs, it's hard to believe anyone is running quicker than that now clean.

    Then again I struggle to think of any sprinters who are completely clean.

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    1. Just to clarify, Ben Johnson ran his coasting 9.79 while coasting across the finish line. AND more importantly, he wasn't juiced that much. 1650mg of Winstrol-V isn't really that much over the course of a year. A pro level bodybuilder would take double or triple that in a week. Sports has changed a lot to say the least.

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  12. the 2nd, 3rd , 4th, and 5th fastest Jamaican male sprinters, ever, have all been caught doping since 2010. all except #1 - Bolt. they train together, compete together, relay together. why risk giving drugs to a guy ranked 5th best and not give drugs to the number one athlete?! why put all that effort in to your countries 5th best sprinter?! "give it to him, he's f**ked, but not Bolt, he'll be fine". the truth is you wouldn't. you give the top guys the top drugs and the top doctors. read the facts, use your brain and reason. look between the lines. this guy is doping.

    hypothetically, if we all found out that tomorrow Jamaica were going to once and for all definitively show the truth... if they were going to prove unequivocally 100% that Bolt was clean or dirty... if you KNEW the truth was finally coming tomorrow. if you HAD to choose, where would you bet your life savings? dirty as dishwater.

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    1. Ten Percent Or Less16 July 2013 18:52

      Great comment, one of the best.

      Thanks for reading.

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