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."
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Latest in Sport
Mesut Ozil reveals he really is the Superman at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is Batman and don't make Lukas Podolski angry - it's the Arsenal Christmas Party
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
The most underrated players in the Premier League
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker ends exit speculation by signing 'long-term' contract
Transfer news: Chelsea - January transfer targets
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £30000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Capita ...