Letter: Ethics of the race to be stronger, faster, higher

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: The unsatisfactory response of the British sports establishment to the doping scandals revealed in Barcelona reflects the attitudes struck in Canada in the wake of the Ben Johnson affair.

It is unacceptable to have our sports leaders stating that we must put this matter behind us and move forward to the Olympic competition.

The British taxpayer, through the Sports Council, subsidises much British sport. We all have rights when our national reputation is damaged by corruption in sport. We need to be told much more about the mechanics of doping in Britain - and whether the taxpayer actually funds the drugs and the people who administer them.

The Government should follow the Canadian example from 1988 and set up a judicial inquiry into the affair. All evidence would be given on oath with the appropriate penalties for perjury. In Canada, this forced many athletes, their coaches, doctors, physios and administrators to reveal the appalling breadth of doping in their own country and internationally.

We cannot rely on the international or national sports federations to carry out such a detailed, public inquiry. If we do not take legal action to discover the truth, the result will be the shaming of three competitors but business as usual for the people behind them.

Yours faithfully,


London, W11

31 July

The writer is co-author of 'The Lords of the Rings' (1992), an investigation into corruption in the Olympics.