Anorak | Mo Farah: end the assumed guilt and legalise all drugs in sport

Mo Farah: end the assumed guilt and legalise all drugs in sport

by | 18th, June 2015

Mo Farah, hero of the London 2012 Olympics, has expressed shock at allegations his coach Alberto Salazar violated anti-doping regulations. “I haven’t done anything, but my name is getting dragged through the mud,” says Farah.

There is no suggestion Farah has done anything outside the rules. And Salazar maintains his innocence. But, hey, who expects a cheat to confess they only do that in the face of proven guilt and when trying to get back in the game?

Against this backdrop of popular suspicion that ‘they’ are all on something and if they are, then so what if the winner cheats? the Daily Mail drops a shoe:

Mo Farah missed two drug tests before London Olympics, putting 2012 double gold at risk  Farah’s first missed test appears to have occurred in early 2010, six months before he broke David Moorcroft’s British 5,000m record. The second test seems to have occurred once Farah had started working with Salazar, taking place at Farah’s home in Teddington. Farah contested it by appealing to the UK Anti-Doping Agency on the basis that he claimed he did not hear his doorbell

The Mail  says that an athlete who misses three tests in any 12-month period (down from 18 months since 2013) can face up to a four-year ban. But Farah did not miss three tests. He missed two.

Farah has not cheated. But he is trapped in the prevailing culture where everyone is guilty til proven innocent:

Kjetil Haugen7 investigated the suggestion that athletes face a kind of prisoner’s dilemma regarding drugs. His game theoretic model shows that, unless the likelihood of athletes being caught doping was raised to unrealistically high levels, or the payoffs for winning were reduced to unrealistically low levels, athletes could all be predicted to cheat. The current situation for athletes ensures that this is likely, even though they are worse off as a whole if everyone takes drugs, than if nobody takes drugs.

And, in any case, who says what is and what is not cheating?

Professor Julian Savulescu points to the use of caffeine and other substances that are shown to improve cycling performance yet are still allowed

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Posted: 18th, June 2015 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink