Sports Letters: Punishment fits Giddins' crime

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From: Mr T Woolfitt

Sir: I would like to comment in response to the letter by Michael Prentice (7 November) concerning the ban suffered by Ed Giddins in response to his alleged cocaine taking.

Mr Prentice argues that what he did was to himself alone, and has no impact on his performance. Would Mr Prentice then argue that Paul Gascoigne, reviled by the press and media alike for his alleged wife-beating, since his wife has not pressed charges, and since he was almost certainly not beating her to improve his performance, should not be the subject of any criticism for what he does in his private life?

Cocaine is a class A drug. Taking it, possessing it or distributing it are all illegal. Buying it allows the dealers and importers to continue to ply their trade, destroying people's lives. If people in the public eye are allowed to continue doing what they want, where are our role-models going to come from?

What he does in his own time is his own business. However, when the two are combined, and when he reaches the public eye, he becomes a role-model and an example. As such, in my opinion, he must be made an example of.

Yours faithfully