WITH SUCCESS comes money, and in sport, success is big business, and when there are millions of pounds up for grabs, the temptation amongst athletes to cheat is far greater. Cheating in sport is heavily policed; there are referees, linesmen, starters, umpires and judges galore –and now there are testing officers, as the reliance placed upon performance enhancing drugs is on the rise, too, writes Danni Cox.
Every year, more than 100,000 drug tests are conducted on athletes. Prior to, during, and after last summer’s Beijing Olympics, official test figures spiralled out of control. In the British olympic camp alone, 1,369 tests were conducted on the 523 team members, and over 400 tests were carried out on the 151 British medallists.
Acting Director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport, Andy Parkinson, claimed this highlighted the UK’s commitment to making “a stance against doping and show the rest of the world that we are doing everything within our powers to compete cleanly and fairly. It should also act as sign of the effort and determination at the heart of our work ahead of London 2012”, he said.
But are anti-doping policies effective? That’s the question being answered this week at the sixth Play The Game world conference which is being held in Coventry.
Speakers – including Richard Ings, Chairman and CEO of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority; Herman Ram, CEO of the Anti-Doping Authority of the Netherlands; and Yves Kummer, President of the European Elite Athletes Association – will be discussing the different aspects and challenges facing the authorities as they attempt to reduce the levels of illegal drugs being used in competitive and non-competitive sport.