[LETTERS] Geopolitical bias dangerous for anti-doping efforts

If anyone really believes Russian doping is any more prevalent than that in the West they need another think coming. Professional cycling, including its most prestigious tournament, Tour de France, is so doped up to its gills in EPO and other hard to detect designer drugs it should, for instance, really be designated as a competition among pharmaceutical suppliers (i.e. 'My dope is better than yours!').

Editor,

RE: “The future of the anti-doping fight” (The New Times, August 25).

Once this necessary fight is transformed into a geopolitical tussle, it loses all legitimacy.

If anyone really believes Russian doping is any more prevalent than that in the West they need another think coming. Professional cycling, including its most prestigious tournament, Tour de France, is so doped up to its gills in EPO and other hard to detect designer drugs it should, for instance, really be designated as a competition among pharmaceutical suppliers (i.e. 'My dope is better than yours!').

Similarly, American footballers and baseball players are considered systematic users of steroids. Thus pointing a finger at only one country rather than looking at all the major sporting disciplines without seeming politically-motivated bias only serves to discredit anti-doping efforts and to erode the perceived objectivity of the institutions tasked with carrying out that responsibility – a real pity if we are really interested in checking doping in sports.

It isn't that I think the Russians are necessarily innocent; they probably are as guilty as charged. But selectively targeting mainly their athletes, by investigators from the West, using as sole witnesses confessed and discredited dope providing former Russian athletics officials who have been granted asylum in the West leaves the impression that this is, as usual, geopolitics through other means.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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