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Biting Back: Sport has been damaged by allegations

Ali Gordon

I'll never forget the moment drugs cheat Dwain Chambers was banned from athletics for taking anabolic steroids.

It may not seem like much to the majority of you, but as an 11-year-old sprinting fanatic it felt like I'd been the one that had been cheated.

I had sat glued to the TV while Chambers and his Team GB team-mates cruised to 4x100m European relay glory and suddenly that dynamism and speed I had admired was all a lie.

Last week, Chambers' relay team-mate Darren Campbell claimed that athletics is "in the gutter" following allegations that Mo Farah's coach Alberto Salazar and running partner Galen Rupp violated anti-doping rules.

While both Salazar and Rupp have denied the allegations and Farah has blasted any indication that he is linked to the drug, the sport's reputation has been severely damaged.

Since the allegations came to light last week, middle-distance runner Jenny Meadows revealed that she would think twice about pursuing a career in athletics if she was starting out again, while hurdler Tiffany Porter vented her frustration for achievements on the track being overshadowed by doping allegations.

In an age of smashing records and earning big money incentives, I'd be lying if I said I couldn't see the attraction of performance enhancing drugs.

But what kind of precedent does that set for young children watching their idols at home?

No sport needs another like Lance Armstrong.

Belfast Telegraph


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