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Surely what matters here is that the WADA code serves the purpose for which it is intended - to provide a mechanism by which doping in sport is gradually eliminated. To suggest any national anti-doping body is undermining the aim of drug-free sport globally by refusing to implement an international code which is poorly thought through is absurd. I'd rather see no global consensus on a rule that fails both the practical and moral tests, rather than global consensus on a confused rule in the hope that one day WADA may see sense and pursue measures which actually deliver the mandate they have set themselves. Looked at this way it's a slap in the face to suggest CM and the BOA 'miss the point', I'm sure both are more than able to adequately consider both sides of the debate.
Posted 10:41 23rd November 2011
Thank you for this - it's the first time I've seen the argument so well stated. It's easy to follow the following line of thought (and one which the popular press, and allegedely, many athletes subscribe to): 1. Doping is wrong. 2. The offenders know it's wrong. 3. The Olymic Ideal is all about fair play. 4. Proven dopers should be banned for life from the Olympics. And taken on it's own, it seems a compelling argument. But as you point out, it's more complicated. This is about enforcing a code that is subscribed to by countries and sports organisations. They can't just invent their own version. Otherwise we're back to the Wild West. This isn't about whether we want Millar or Chambers to be back in the Olympics. It's about working together under the banner of WADA to fight drug-taking in sport in a consistent and controlled way. And in my view, this is the best way of stopping doping in sport in the long term. And like all forms of "government", if you want change, then do it from within. Don't go around acting like Charles Bronson, taking the law into your own hands. And there are other strands to the debate which add further complexity . Is all doping the same and should it all be punished in a similar manner? Does the use of steroids and EPO, for example, have the same long term effects on the body, or does one change the body's make-up so that a user retains an advantage over a prolonged period? Do we ban one for life, and one for 2 years? I'm not sure I've heard Mr Moynihan give all the answers - he's just off down the "hang 'em high" route. Let's have some joined-up thinking on this. Doping is wrong. The objective is to eliminate doping from sport, not to just dole out the maximum punishment to individuals. And in the present circumstances, supporting WADA is in my view the best chance we have of that.
Posted 23:33 22nd November 2011
Richard, i think you have missed the point. WADA's is entrusted to define when an athlete has breached the doping rules in sport, defining a new crime. This can be put against crimes like robbery that we have lived with since society began. It is for the countries responsible for the athlete to define the punishment. However WADA does stipulate a minimum punishment (and why they are appealing spain's decision with Contador). If a country, sporting event, or organisations decides to extend that ban, this has no negative bearing on WADA, as the WADA code has been upheld. However i do believe that there is a bigger issue. When someone dopes to gain advantage in sport, their win robs the rightful athlete of a way of life, sponsorship, life time security, with the effects reaching beyond that athlete, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is equal to all varieties of fraud, for which people see prison sentences. I think the question isn't how long they should be banned for, but how long they go to prison for. Again, this can only be defined by the countries courts, not WADA. For example; If the UK government decided it was a crime to dope in sport, and apply a 5 year prison sentence to the most severe cases, would they be in breach of the WADA code? I realise this is a stretch, but the principle applies Andy
Posted 18:42 22nd November 2011