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There’s hot air … and hot air

I doubt that there is a sport worth participating in or playing that is without a performance-enhancing drugs problem. When it comes down to competition, huge – in both the prestigious and lucrative sense – prizes, and the ‘drug’ of adulation from millions of fans around the world, it tends to come with the territory.

Seeking an advantage – whether that be high-altitude training; taking out, freezing and then returning blood to the system; the very latest technology as regards kit and sportswear; or just sundry other examples of taking/testing the current rules (whatever they be) to the very extreme in terms of identifying where gains can be made that your opponents won’t have thought of – is an instinctive and understandable aspect of human nature when it comes to sporting competition.

I would maintain I don’t have it in for particular sports like track & field and cycling, but they remain almost constantly in the public eye because of their tainted history and sometimes ongoing issues with PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs).

Here’s a link to an article by Martha Kelner on the latest developments in cycling that doesn’t give me much confidence that the sport will get its house in order any time soon, as appears today on the website of – THE GUARDIAN

As far as I can tell, Ms Harrington is more concerned with Chris Froome and Team Sky having the right to defend themselves (whilst in the meantime Mr Froome being able to enter any competition he likes as if nothing has happened) than treating all cyclists the same.

Frankly, I am extremely comfortable with the view that when it comes to failed drugs tests there should be a presumption of guilt and the onus should be on the ‘accused’ to prove themselves innocent if they can.

It’s the same with Ben Stokes and his ‘tricky’ court case. I cannot think of an ordinary Joe in similar circumstances who wouldn’t have been told by now whether the police (or CPS) was going to proceed with charges against him or not. Irrespective of whether this is true or not, it feels as though the authorities of state have colluded with the sporting authorities in order to avoid facing the embarrassment of potentially lurid or bad publicity hitting the tabloids during the recently-finished Ashes Tour (and now possibly other England games going forward in all formats).

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts