Is it right that British sprinter Dwain Chambers has been banned from competing in the Beijing Olympics? That’s the question the British sports-world is debating. He was given a lifetime ban in 2003 after testing positive for Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).
He was stripped of the 100m gold medal he won at the European Championship in 2002, and cost his team-mates the gold they’d won in the 4x100m relay. The British Olympic Association rules say that any athlete found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs in the past is not allowed to compete in the Olympics.
Chambers says that’s unreasonable, and in effect he’s being punished twice for the same offense. He made the qualifying time for the 100m at the British trials last week, so he’s still got the ability to run a decent race – but he’s not allowed to go to Beijing. Hence why he took the British Olympic Association (BOA) to court, to try and overturn that ban.
He knows he did wrong, but it must be frustrating knowing that although he may not be able to compete, the chances of other doped up athletes competing in the Olympics is high. The only difference is that they probably won’t get caught.
Chambers says that they’ll always be athletes using performance-enhancing drugs because the scientists will always be one step ahead of the testers….and he’s right. Doping is a very real reality in sport.
In fact – several of my friends won’t watch athletics anymore and have no intention of watching the Olympics this year, because they no longer see it as a fair sport. As much as an athlete wants to have a good clean, dope-free win – how can they do that if they know that the sprinter further down the track is a regular user? It would never be a fair race, thus temptation rears it’s ugly head: if you can’t beat them, join them.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t make it right. But we have to face the reality of it. Advances in technology are such that scientists will always be trying to develop untraceable substances that make an athlete stronger. And there will always be some athletes more than willing to take it….just in case it gives them that edge to win.
The Olympics was always about celebrating the immense physical strength of the human body. But when that body’s been injected with God knows what, will you be watching Beijing â€˜08?
Like Miss Londonâ€™s perspective, read the rest of her posts here.
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