So Dwain Chambers and David Millar could be competing for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, despite being banned for doping offences. The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has decided that a lifetime ban by the British Olympic Association does not comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency code and is therefore unenforceable. This has caused a big kerfuffle in the sporting world, with clean sportsmen and women understandably feeling outraged that the good name of their sport could be tainted. Yet I can’t help thinking that it’s the right decision.
Of course, nobody wants to give the nod to doping offences, either directly or indirectly, and I can quite see why sports people who have always scrupulously competed without chemical assistance should be upset. But I can’t get away from the notion that everyone – including sports people – should be allowed to serve their time and then get on with their lives and careers. They made a mistake, they’ve paid the price, so now let’s see what they can do without the drugs. Test them and retest them and then let them compete properly, like they should have done in the first place.
This isn’t a popular point of view, so let’s hear what you’ve got to say about it. Should Dwain Chambers and David Millar be allowed back in the fold? Are the Olympics tainted if they compete? Should doping always lead to a lifetime ban or is everyone entitled to a second chance even if they’ve fallen prey to the temptation of taking drugs? Girl on the River has had her say: now it’s over to you.