Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers rejected any suggestion of doping after she smashed a 36-year-old European record to win the world 200m title with the fourth fastest run in history on Friday.
Schippers, who claimed 100m silver on Monday and only switched to sprinting from heptathlon after the 2013 world championships, clocked 21.63sec as she lunged at the line to deny Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson.
It was a remarkable run by Schippers, 23, who eclipsed the European record of 21.71sec set by Marita Koch in 1979 and matched by fellow East German Heike Drechsler in 1986.
Only Americans Marion Jones and world record-holder Florence Griffith-Joyner have run the 200m faster than Schippers, who won hepathlon bronze at the Moscow worlds two years ago.
The careers of Koch, Dreschler, Jones and Griffith-Joyner were all mired in doping allegations, but Schippers insisted she had nothing to hide.
“I know I’m clean and I work very hard for it,” said Schippers. “I do all the dope controls and I don’t want to say more than that.”
The Dutchwoman added: “I’m very happy with my time and the European record. I hoped coming here for the gold medal and a time under 22 seconds.
“I did it but I can’t believe it. I didn’t think the clock was working right when I came through the line. What a race, what a championships for me.
“Coming out of the curve I saw the Jamaican girl a little ahead of me and I tried to stay relaxed, maybe I gave a little bit too much energy.”
Doping has been in the spotlight after lurid allegations in the build-up to Beijing. Two Kenyan athletes have been provisionally suspended after failing pre-competition tests.
Schippers immediately saw a track doctor after the race, but her coach Bart Bennema said it was purely precautionary after she complained of dizziness.
Silver medallist Thompson called Schippers a “great competitor”.
“I’m not disappointed at all that I didn’t win because I came home with a medal,” said the 23-year-old Jamaican.
Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won the world title in Daegu in 2011, claimed bronze in 21.97sec at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium.
The Jamaican veteran also had no complaints after a raft of injuries.
“This year has been a difficult experience for me after I worked so hard,” she said.
“It was going up and down all the season so I am so grateful I came out with the medal and a season’s best.”
With Thompson on her inside, Schippers was chasing shadows coming off the bend in lane six and realising the Jamaican was marginally ahead of her, the Dutch athlete plugged away down the final straight.
Schippers caught Thompson and produced a savage dip at the line for victory before celebrating and then seeing the medics. – Agence France-Presse