Dai Greene has voiced his frustration at the lack of competition for British athletes and the slow pace at which the sport is returning from lockdown.
He has also blasted the “madness” of track and field allowing Salwa Eid Naser to become world champion over 400 metres when the Nigerian-born Bahraini already had three missed drugs tests against her name.
Wales’ former world 400m hurdles champion looked on enviously as current No.1 Karsten Warholm headlined the Impossible Games on Thursday, a behind-closed-doors meet comprised of innovative events to get around social distancing restrictions.
“It’s fair to say there’s a growing frustration in the athletics community, certainly in the UK, that there has been no innovation,” said Greene. “I feel they should be looking to schedule comps.
“Other countries are ahead of us in terms of their innovation. We need something not only to entertain the fans, but also as motivation for training.
“The rules for elite sport were opened up three weeks ago and football matches will start back on Wednesday, yet I can’t even use starting blocks or a set of hurdles at the elite training centre.”
Greene, 34, lives on a farm and has spent much of lockdown lifting tractor tyres and logs to try to replicate gym work.
He has been irritated by this week’s revelation that Naser was able to compete in Doha last October and was only provisionally suspended after missing a fourth drugs test.
“First of all I don’t really understand how you miss three tests,” he said. “To be one of the world’s top athletes you have to devote your entire lifestyle to staying ahead of the rest.
“It doesn’t just happen. Your routine is sleep, eat, train, repeat. Your life is really structured. It shouldn’t be difficult to organise your ‘whereabouts’ around that.
“The fact Naser missed three tests before the champs and was not provisionally suspended is really bad. I don’t understand how it’s still not resolved now, eight months on.”
The contrast is stark between the treatment of Naser and that of British hammer thrower Mark Dry, who is serving a four-year ban.
Dry missed one test, which is not a punishable offence, but because he lied about his whereabouts was hammered by the authorities.
“As an athlete what you want is consistency,” said Greene. “You want the punishment to fit the crime. You can’t compare Mark’s situation with Naser’s, it’s chalk and cheese, yet one of them has a four-year ban, the other is allowed to compete at the world champs.
“It’s madness. It seems to be one rule for one, another for somebody else.
“As a general point, I don’t feel enough athletes speak out against drug cheats. People should say more.”