Inside Lines: Kick out those nations who keep on doping, says Lord Coe


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The Independent Online

Britain’s Olympics chief Lord Coe wants those nations whose competitors persistently break anti-doping laws kicked out of international sport. His comments follow last week’s revelations that American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Asafa Powell, two of the fastest men in the world this year, had tested positive for banned substances. Powell was one of five Jamaicans to fail tests at their national championships last month.

There is also an ongoing major controversy involving Russia, where 44 athletes are currently suspended, while Istanbul’s chances of hosting the 2020 Olympics have been dealt a serious blow by a widespread doping scandal. Dozens of Turkish athletes are expected to be confirmed as having tested positive, eight reportedly failing tests at last month’s European Team Championships in Gateshead. Coe says: “Ultimately, if your best endeavours are to make sure that you’ve got every country competing on a fair and open footing – and a few persistently want to step outside that – then there has to be a sanction which removes them from an international sport. If they consistently step beyond those boundaries, then ultimately the international federation must have the right to say to a national governing body: ‘I’m sorry we can’t countenance repeat offending at this level’.”

However Coe, who is campaigning to become overlord of world athletics in 2015, adds: “You have got to be very careful about throwing all the opprobrium at a couple of countries that are currently dealing with those problems. The reality is we are getting into those countries and we are weeding out the cheats.”

Caborn on the ropes

Boxing’s blazers are at it again. After delivering a ko to Derek Mapp, chair of the British Amateur Boxing Association, they are now gunning for his friend Richard Caborn, the former sports minister who heads constituent body the Amateur Boxing Association of England. Moves to depose him as chair will infuriate Sport England, who have insisted the ABAE reform their archaic governance or face a £5 million funding cut earmarked for grassroots boxing which would bankrupt the 133-year-old organisation. The response from the ABAE is due tomorrow, by which time at least 75 per cent of their membership must have agreed to a restructuring of their Board. “A pivotal moment,” says Caborn, who is vigorously fighting the attempt to remove him. “I am determined to stop the sport from being dragged back to the dark ages.”

Price drop at LTA

Sport England’s excellent Jenny Price won’t be taking over from Roger Draper as the new chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association despite being the outstanding candidate. We hear some members are so unforgiving of the funding cuts imposed on the LTA by Sport England they have opposed her appointment. Some people, eh?

Boxing’s too-late show

The campaign by Boxing News for promoters to stage big fights at a more reasonable hour is one close to home. Readers may wonder why certain reports (such as last night’s Wembley show) don’t get into the papers – they are simply too late for deadlines. The pro debut of Olympic champion Luke Campbell in Hull last Saturday started after midnight when some fans were having to leave the arena for fear of missing their transport. It is the same for most televised fight nights now, but as the venerable “bible” of boxing asks: “What other sport does that? When you are trying to attract fans [to boxing] you need to make it easy for them by putting it on at a time when it is accessible.” Promoters please note.