Friday, 18 July 2008

A Tale of Two Drug Cheats

Yesterday Dwain Chambers took his case to the High Court to try and get an injunction against the British Olympics Association bye law, which state that any Athlete since 1992 to have cheated using drugs is ineligible for selection to the GB & NI Olympic Team for life. Today he will get the verdict of that court. Meanwhile across the Channel is news that the third and most prominent rider of this years Tour Ricardo Rico was excluded, banned and arrested by French authorities for using EPO.

Let's look at these two stories from the same day. Rico was a promising young rider, he actually was leading the young rider classification and had won two stages this year before his positive test came back. He will now find it hard to gain employment in a sport that is doing its best to be seen to be beyond suspicion, like the other two who were tested positive so far on this years tour, he had been targeted by the new system that compares irregularities against a norm blood sample stored by the sports anti-doping authority.

He is in a team sport and therefore unlike Chambers need to be employed to take part in his sport, once he serves his ban it is unlikely that this may happen as Astana were excluded from the premier cycle race this year because of a past history of doping, despite having the defending champion on their team. If Chambers wins an injunction today it is a travesty. Sport is trying to clean up their image in athletic, cycling, even golfers now being tested in the hope of gaining Olympic accreditation. Therefore Dwain should do the honourable thing and accept his ban for his past behaviour so that we can throw aside any doubt over his or a relay team's performance in a GB & NI vest at the highest level.

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