Drugs In Sport: Independent Survey - Problem is here to stay says Baulch
One of Britain's leading runners says cheats are ruining his sport.
Friday 11 December 1998
"You always get it. There is always going to be somebody out there who is going to do something they shouldn't but the problem is that I can't see it ever being stopped."
Baulch's accusations come as The Independent's survey of drug use in British sport showed that only three per cent of the country's leading men and women in athletics think their sport is clean and 64 per cent do not think current drugs regulations are appropriate and need to be tightened. The survey showed 27 per cent of athletes believe EPO (erythropoietin, a substance which increases the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity) is being abused, 19 per cent cited human growth hormone as a problem and 16 per cent thought fellow athletes were using steroids.
"It would be nice to think that this is something which could go away but the truth is that those who cheat seem to always be one step in front of the testers," Baulch said.
"It [drug taking by other athletes] really frustrates me and I am not against them [the authorities] doing blood tests to make sure it doesn't happen but I can't see that they can stop the problem."
Baulch's claims come at the end of a season where he battled back from a blood disorder which threatened to destroy his career. After a gruelling rehabilitation schedule, he returned to the international arena, for Wales, at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, only just missing out on a medal.
"I have never wanted to take drugs," Baulch said. "Despite it being illegal, you don't know what the effects are. We're seeing now some of those effects with the East German athletes and if you did take drugs, it must be of huge concern to you.
"It is not for me to make the big decisions over testing but whatever test they can do, they should." Many athletes responding to The Independent's survey called for the introduction of mandatory blood testing.
Baulch's anger at the cheats stems from fear that athletics is becoming irreversibly damaged and that the war against drugs is being lost. "It is so bad for the sport," he said. "It is because I can't see that anything can be done, that I am so angry."
Iwan Thomas, meanwhile, has claimed that creatine gave him leg cramps which threatened to ruin his season. The world No 3 400m runner was advised to take the legal performance-enhancing food supplement 18 months ago but after suffering severe cramp in his calf muscles, he says he will avoid it in future.
"I found that creatine gave me cramp and I decided not to take it," Thomas said. "It affected my calf muscles and I felt that I couldn't risk it in a race. You don't need it. I am strong enough to not need it and I won't ever use it again."
Latest in Sport
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
Danny Ings to Tottenham: Spurs rival Liverpool for £6m Burnley striker
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
FA ban Aston Villa flag for the FA Cup final because it contains a reference to Arsenal
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
- 1 I was raped by another man. And now the Government wants to take away the one thing that saved my life
- 2 Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
- 3 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 'Paracetamol Challenge': Police and teachers issue warning to parents over social media craze
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...
£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...