Michael Rodgers breakout on the Outdoor World stage will have to wait while another Missourian will take his place and get his first chance to wear the Red, White, and Blue with the world watching. Rodgers, who in June jumped to a tie for ninth on the world all-time 100 meter performance list with his 9.85 second time at the Prefontaine Classic, accepted a provisional suspension from the US Anti-Doping Agency and withdrew from the World Championships after testing positive for a banned stimulant: methylhexaneamine, which is found in energy drinks.
Rodgers, the St. Louis native, Berkeley High School grad, NAIA national champion at Lindenwood and Oklahoma Baptist Universities, and 2009 USA 100 meter champion was to compete in the 100 meters and 4 x 100 meter relay at the World Championships in Daegu South Korea that began yesterday. Rodgers, who earned a spot on the US team after his third place finish at this years national meet, said on twitter that he unknowingly consumed the stimulant when he drank an energy drink in Italy in July while training and competing with the US team in preparation for the World Championships.
USA Today reported that Rodgers agent, Tony Campbell said Rodgers ordered vodka with an energy drink at a club in Italy two days before competing. USA Today quoted Campbell as saying “Bad decision on his part. Now he’s paying the price for it, we have to clear his name. That’s the main thing we want to do right now. Mike is not a druggie. The only thing he’s guilty of is making a poor choice.” Campbell also said “He’s broken up by this,” “I just told him, ‘I hope it’s an eye opener for you.’ But it’s tearing him up inside.”
A steroidsources.com story reported the following: “… According to his agent Tony Campbell, the sprinter mistakenly drank an energy drink which contains the banned substance. “I don’t want anyone to think Mike is a druggie. It was a stimulant. It was not steroids or anything of that nature,” Campbell told the media. “He went to a club with some friends in Italy and he thought he was drinking a Red Bull but he got one of those energy drinks that had a stimulant in it,” he added.”
USATF Interim CEO Mike McNees was quoted as saying: “We are glad Michael has chosen to accept this provisional suspension, which will lessen the amount of disruption to his teammates as they prepare for the World Championships,” in a USATF release.
Rodgers was looking for his first Outdoor World Championships Medal after taking 9th in the 100 meters and earning a disqualification in the prelims as part of the 4×100 team at the 2009 meet which is held every two years. Rodgers just missed a World Indoor Championships medal in 2009 with a bad start in the 60 meters final, but earned silver in the 60 a year later at the 2010 World Championships.
The loss of one Missourian on Team USA may have lead to another Missourian making the team. Maurice Mitchell was a late addition to the team who finished 9th in the 100 and fourth in the 200 at USATF Nationals. Another possible reason for Mitchell’s addition is that the availability of Jeremy Dodson may now be in question after a recent arrest on charges of suspicion of identity theft. Dodson was third in the 200 at Nationals and his lawyer claims he too is a victim of an unknown person whose acts of identity theft caused Dodson’s arrest. According to the Associated Press, Dodson’s passport was surrendered when he posted bond, but following a hearing on Friday he was cleared to travel.
Mitchell, the Kansas City native, Raytown South grad, and senior to be at Florida State will be making his second USA team and first USA senior team. Two weeks before his fourth and ninth place finishes at US Nationals in June, Mitchell claimed two NCAA DI National titles. Mitchell and teammates took top honors in the 4×100 and 40 minutes later Mitchell returned to the track to claim the 200 meter final. Last summer Mitchell earned medals on his first US team at the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Under 23 Championships.