The power of sport and money

14 Feb 2008 by Karl Hallam

It seems as though the athletics world is ganging up on Dwain Chambers and trying to demonise him. People have a romantic view of sport sometimes and people like him are bad for business, because that's what it is - business - and action only happens when money is the issue.

On the surface it's a straightforward situation: he's a drug cheat and an unsuitable role model and the Blazers are doing their best to get rid of such bad apples. Because sport is about team spirit, courage, fair play and doing your best: that's why Blair and Brown and many leaders before are so keen to associate themselves with it. Sport reduces crime, makes us healthier ... but (mainly the professional sort) makes some people a lot money. That's why drugs have always been around and it's part of the reason why governing bodies and sponsors have not made the rules, that are all needed for poor Dwain, that bring about Olympic and life bans.

Carl Myercough is in the team, but nobody has heard of him, so does his ban not count? David Millar is picked for the British Cycling team - why is that OK?

It is the people who run athletics, those who manage and coach athletes, and the sponsors and promoters who need to take a long, hard look at themselves before bringing in Tanni Grey-Thompson to heap more penalties upon misguided individual athletes like Chambers.

The new Secretary of Sport has been quiet on this topic. Let's hope that when he does contribute, he gives due recognition to the power of sport to do both good and bad.

your comments

tnajewckee
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Wanda
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