OLYMPIC athletes who test positive for cocaine and ecstasy should not face an automatic ban from competing, the British anti-doping agency has said.Meanwhile, where tobacco is concerned, the opposite is being mooted.
Professional sportsmen and women currently face a two-year ban if they are found to have the illegal substances in their system during competition.
But in a document seen by The Times, UK Anti-Doping, the agency responsible for random testing of British athletes, says the sanctions are disproportionately harsh. Regulations on recreational drugs and medications including asthma inhalers should be relaxed in time for the London Games, the report says.
Drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine are judged by scientists to have no performance-enhancing effects in most sports.
[...] smokeless tobacco products are of growing popularity in sport owing to potential performance enhancing properties and absence of adverse effects on the respiratory system [...] considering the adverse effects of smoking on the respiratory tract and numerous health threats detrimental to sport practice at top level, likelihood of smokeless tobacco consumption for performance enhancement is greatly supported.Sadly, the full text is behind a paywall, but a kindly fellow jewel robber furnished me with the benefits attributable to nicotine claimed therein.
"Promotion of related positive reinforcing effects results in vigilance, reduced stress, mood modulation and lower body. Interestingly, nicotine also triggers a significant increase of pulse rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and epinephrine release owing to simultaneous stimulant and relaxant properties. As a consequence ... smokeless tobacco is a very attractive drug from a doping perspective.”So, let's get this straight. There are no benefits to tobacco consumption whatsoever ... unless such benefits can be used against it. Yep, that's about the consistency of information we've come to expect.
Sit round the athletes' villages of the future socially puffing waccy-baccy and you'll get a rap on the knuckles, but stick some snus under your lip? Don't even go there, Sven!
Presumably, they'll be coming to strip Hestrie Cloete of her medals soon enough, too.
As an added bonus, here's the mightily popular Shirley Strong doing rather well for GBR in Los Angeles 1984.
You shouldn't need to ask why that's relevant.