We are a society which purports to endorse rehabilitation. So why do we condemn those who have fallen afoul of strict doping regulations?
The Men’s 100m at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea has frequently been dubbed ‘the dirtiest race in history’. The world-record winning time set by Ben Johnson was nullified two days after the race after a post-race drug test indicated steroid use. Suspicion of wider drug-use in the field was rife, as well as accusations that the eventual winner, Carl Lewis, ran illegally out of his lane.
The roar from the crowd echoed triumphantly through the stadium. The mood was one of nervous excitement. Thirty minutes in and Germany were yet to break the deadlock; the partisan French crowd fancied their luck against the reigning World Champs.
Andy Brown and Isabelle Westbury
One of the most stunning revelations from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report, published on 9 November, was that both the WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratories in Moscow and Lausanne had destroyed athlete samples, against the specific instructions of WADA. New information relating to the role that the Director of the Lausanne Laboratory, Martial Saugy, played at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games raises new questions about the nature and extent of his relationship with the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Moscow Laboratory.
It’s been a busy few months for anti-corruption in sport, with the on-going FIFA scandal erupting in May; resignations, corruption allegations and match-fixing trials plaguing the world of cricket; and now athletics has been mired in a scandal of its own. As the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prepares to deliver the findings of its independent Commission’s investigations into doping and corruption allegations in athletics, with much centring around Russian athletics, here’s an update on what’s happened so far.