daley Thompson backs BOA’s lifetime Olympic ban

Daley Thompson was absolutely right when he attacked the “failings” of the World Anti-Doping Agency and declared “Keep these drug cheats away from our Games.”

Whatever you may say about re-habilitation or restraint of trade, the thought of sprinter Dwain Chambers or cyclist David Millar competing for Britain at London 2012 is a non-starter because it would send out the wrong message.

Thompson, the Olympic decathlon legend Thompson summed it up perfectly when he wrote in his Sportsmail column: ‘I don’t see why we should be dragged down by the rest of the world, who impose a maximum two-year ban on even the most motivated cheaters.

‘If we want high standards in this country then we should be entitled to them. If the rest of the world don’t share our standards or can’t enforce them why should we have to kowtow?’

Dwain Chambers may be the fastest man in Britain and David Millar, who has become an outspoken advocate for clean sport, would clearly be a key member of the cycling team aiming for Gold in London. But the BOA have the support of over 90% of British athletes for their rule of a lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats and they know what is best for sport.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport today began their hearing into whether or not the BOA’s Olympic ban on drug cheats should be upheld following a challenge by WADA. But even if the BOA lose, in my opinion they must remain free to select whichever athletes they deem fit to represent GB and that must not include Chambers or Millar at London 2012.

For Chambers, who finished with a bronze in the 60 metres behind gold medallist Justin Gatlin at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul at the weekend, that may seem like double standards. Gatlin, banned in 2006 after testing positive for excessive testosterone, is free to compete for America in London. Chambers, banned in 2003 for taking steroids, is not because the BOA now impose the only lifetime ban in world sport.

But the Olympics are special and only by the rest of the world agreeing with the BOA’s tough stand will the Games’ idealistic principles be preserved.


Britain’s greatest ever sprinter Linford Christie – who won 100 metres Gold at the 1992 Olympics four years after being beaten by drug cheat Ben Johnson – made his feelings known in Fitness video the S Plan when he declared: “I take it more personally when people I’m competing against cheat because they’re robbing me of something that (is) rightly mine.

“I’ve got to work hard for it. I’ve got to suffer through injury and everything else so why should they come along and get it so easy.”