In what's believed to be a first in the world of doping, an Olympic athlete has openly admitted to using Jesus Christ as a performance enhancer.
"My doping is Jesus," Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana said in this article on ChristianTimes.com:
Ayana had been dogged by rumors of doping ever since she won the 10,000 meters on Friday, August 12—only her second 10,000m race ever—in 29:17.45, smashing a 23-year-old world record in the process. And she had been just as adamant in denying them—until recently.
According to the ChristianTimes.com article, Ayana "named three factors behind her success and even admitted to the allegations of doping — but of a rather unusual kind."
"Three things," she said through a translator. "Number one, I did my training, Number two, I praise the Lord, he is giving me everything, everything, everything."
Critics immediately pointed out that that is just two things, not three, and speculated that such innumeracy may be a side effect of long-term Jesus use.
"It just goes to show that the fight against doping in athletics is a game of cat and mouse," said Tony Montana, head of the Global Anti-Doping Initiative. "EPO, CERA, human growth hormone, and now, Jesus of Nazareth."
"You develop better screening tests and they just move on to something else," he said. "It's frustrating."
Ayana's competitors were more blunt.
"It's incredible," said one track and field athlete, who requested anonymity. "Using EPO or steroids is one thing. But employing the grace and strength of Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to gain an edge? That's a new low."
"Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God," she continued. "Whatever you call Him, He belongs in church, not on the track, giving certain athletes an unfair advantage."
Ayana's confession also put renewed focus on an earlier incident in Rio, regarding a curious delivery to the Athlete's Village. A large, heavy box had arrived for Ayana; concerned by its heft and lack of a return address, security screeners opened it.
The box was full of Bibles.
"It seemed strange, but we sent it along to her room," said Manny Ribera, one of the staff who examined the box. "When Ayana's coach saw it had been opened, he freaked. 'Those aren't our Bibles,' he told us. 'I have no idea who those belong to.'"
"He was sweating, very nervous. It seemed weird at the time."
The International Olympic Committee says it is studying the case and will not rule out stripping Ayana of her Gold Medal. Meantime, anti-doping officials say they will work to develop a test to detect the presence of the Holy Spirit in an athlete's system.
Elevated levels of salvation aren't proof of cheating, said Montana, of the Global Anti-Doping Initiative.
"But it certainly raises red flags."