Hemery hits back at drugs claims

The UK Athletics president, David Hemery, today insisted his organisation have not gone soft on drug cheats.

The UK Athletics president, David Hemery, today insisted his organisation have not gone soft on drug cheats.

British athletics' governing body have been stung by the criticism which followed the clearing of several competitors who tested positive for banned steroid nandrolone.

These included former Olympic 100 metres champion Linford Christie and last year's European 200m gold medallist Doug Walker.

But Hemery, the 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles champion, said: "I have real concern that some people believe that UK Athletics have gone soft on drug cheats. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"However, we have found ourselves in a very difficult situation. Our primary aim must be fairness to all athletes. This implies a level playing field, which requires regular out-of-competition drug testing.

"The athletes who have been found with nandrolone metabolites in their urine could not be proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

"The few positives are reported because we test. We can be proud of the fact that we police our sport and that 98.8% of all tests on athletes are clean.

"An International Amateur Athletic Federation Council member pointed out that the UK is one of only nine out of 213 member countries who do random out-of-competition testing. That is less than five per cent of all participating countries."

Now Hemery - who accepts that while UK Sport and IAAF testing procedures are good at finding traces of banned substances they do not identify what put them there - has announced an initiative which could see UK Athletics taking a leading role in research into supplements, metabolites and haematology.

Hemery said: "I am delighted UK Sport have agreed to have a large panel of top scientists look into the possible causes of these nandrolone findings. What we have not done well, so far, is to provide education of what can be taken."

UK Athletics is hoping the International Athletic Foundation will provide an initial grant of £32,000 when they meet later this month in Monte Carlo in an attempt to get to the bottom of the recent nandrolone findings which have caused worldwide concern.

Hemery said: "It is the intent of UK Athletics to be proactive in this situation. We will be asking the European Athletic Association for similar support.

"We have had a meeting with the new Sports Minister Kate Hoey, who is also strongly supportive of the action.

"I have asked her whether there could be interest from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to link us with one of the three EU priorities for this year - the problems of drugs in sport.

"In addition I have had conversations with a couple of multi-national companies, who are offering support in cash and kind for honesty and integrity to be renewed in sport."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss