SA 100m record-holder Carina Horn back from suspension: ‘There were many evenings I could not stop myself from crying’
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CAPE TOWN – The last two years have been an emotional roller-coaster for Carina Horn, which led to tears at times as she contemplated her athletics career.
The South African 100-metre record-holder was unable to compete due to a positive drug test in September 2019, where prohibited substances Ibutamoren (which is a growth hormone) and LGD-4033 (a testosterone replacement product) were found.
Horn had felt that her supplements were contaminated, and got a scientist to prove her case, and eventually, the Athletics Integrity Unit accepted his findings and handed down a two-year suspension instead of the usual four.
Now 32, she was able to get back on to the track this week.
“IM BACK! What a time it has been. Cannot put anything into words, just thankful and excited to get in the blocks again better and faster than ever! Thank you for everyone’s support, lovers and haters. I have learnt so much and grown as human and athlete #faster #better #explosive #danger #defeat #victory” Horn posted on Instagram.
But her absence has been costly to her career, as she missed out on the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar, as well as the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics.
With a best time of 10.98 seconds, set in 2018, Horn would’ve been in her prime at the last two major events.
“I know it is my responsibility to make sure that the supplements I use are not contaminated. So, my advice to any young athlete is when in doubt, rather don’t use anything. It is not worth it,” Horn told the Tuks Sport website.
“From an emotional perspective, the last two years had been tough. There were many evenings that I could not stop myself from crying as it felt as if I was fighting a losing battle. But now that I am back on the track running again, I am glad that I did not just give up.”
Horn has not yet decided when she will enter top-level competitions again, but one target that may be in her mind is next year’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon, which takes place in July.
Then, of course, the 2024 Paris Olympics looms large after that. She added that Jamaican star Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who clinched a 100m silver medal in Tokyo and was part of the triumphant 4x100m relay team at the age of 34, has given her belief that she can still make a mark in sprinting.
Her personal best of 10.98 would have secured sixth place in the Olympic final.
“I feel like a ‘newborn baby’ who has got to relearn how to train. At the moment, I feel quite sluggish and ‘heavy’ when running. It is going to take some time to get my body back to ‘normal’,” Horn said.
“Therefore, I will only decide when I will start racing by the end of December or January. I will definitely not do so if I don’t feel I am at the top of my game. From now on, every time I line up to compete, I want to make it count.
“I am inspired by Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s performance. Hopefully, I also got one or two good races to run.”