Coe rejects idea of shorter bans for recreational drug abuse
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 28 July 2011
Sebastian Coe has vehemently rejected calls for athletes who are caught taking recreational drugs to face the possibility of lesser bans than those who take performance-enhancing substances. Coe, who is a vice-president of the IAAF, the athletics governing body, said yesterday that such moves display the "morality of the knackers' yard".
Athletes who fail drugs tests currently face an automatic two-year ban, but a senior member of UK Anti-Doping has suggested that there should be a difference drawn between drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and some medications, like asthma inhalers, and those that competitors take to boost performance. It is a view that was yesterday supported by Steve Cram.
But Coe, who may run for the presidency of the IAAF once his current role as chairman of the London Olympics organising committee is complete, believes there should still be a universal ban, and that it should, in fact, be doubled.
He said: "Let's get real here. What is the message we are putting out to young people? It's very clear. There is no ambiguity. You want to be a part of this project then don't take drugs. You can't mix messages.
"If I'm ever in a position in track and field we will move that [ban] to four years," Coe added. "It's about trust. If you say, well, we might take a view on ecstasy or cocaine it's the morality of the knackers' yard. You have got to fight this and you have got to be clear and strong."
Michael Stow, head of science and medicine at UKAD, has suggested there should be more flexibility and the list of prohibited substances not to be a "question of moral and ethics".
Cram said: "Recreational drugs are not the same as someone who has systematically tried to cheat to win. So an automatic two-year ban might not be right for that offence."
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal resurrects £35m move for midfielder
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace