Women's 400m

  Earthsea 21:29 29 Aug 2007
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It was a great race and I think everyone was surprised at the result; Christine Ohuruogu won gold and Nicola Sanders silver. Britain isn't exactly a world force in athletics at the moment so it's good to see.

Problem is, Ohuruogu has been banned by the British Olympic Association from participating in next year's Olympics due to a doping offence; she missed three out-of-competition tests and has recently served a one year ban from all competition.

The BOA recently cleared triathlon world champion Tim Don and judo player Peter Cousins for the same offence, so should she be allowed to compete in Beijing? She's made an appeal.

  Forum Editor 23:31 29 Aug 2007

that there are 'at least 100' British athletes who have missed two drug tests at the moment.

  Stuartli 00:15 30 Aug 2007

The ban and the reason for it completely took the shine off Ohuruogu's success for me.

We'll probably never know how genuine or otherwise her triumph proves, but congratulations to Nicola Sanders for a superb performance.

Certainly the way the race order changed in the very final strides was astonishing.

  Belatucadrus 00:46 30 Aug 2007

Because Ohuruogu's currently banned from competing at the Olympics for Britain it looks as if she'll compete for Nigeria if the ban remains in place.
Problem I have is the inconsistancy that the BOA shows in applying penalties. Whatever the truth of the situation is, missing three tests must go down as an act of real stupidity.

  techie4me 19:34 02 Sep 2007

Misssing 3 drug tests in a row, set the alarm bells ringing.
What was she trying to hide?

  QuizMan 20:32 02 Sep 2007

techie4me - I do not believe that she missed 3 tests in a row. They were spread over a period of time and she had a number of negative tests in that period.

I really cannot make my mind up about this. On the one hand, it seems harsh to be penalised for simply being woolly headed and forgetting to tell the authorities about change of plans - some people are like that . On the other, if your livelihood and lifetime goals depend upon sticking to the rules, then it should be concentrating the mind.

  sunny staines 21:32 02 Sep 2007

drug bans and bans for avoiding tests should be for life. to ease the pressure on young sports stars from risking their health by taking drugs to compete with cheats.

  PalaeoBill 17:17 03 Sep 2007

The rules are ridiculous. It is not 3 tests in a row, it is 3 tests. The testers have your itinerary, if you are not there it is a missed test. It doesn't matter if you have an excellent excuse for not being there the excuse is not taken into account. Nor does it help if you take and pass the previous or subsequent tests.

As an example of how ludicrous the rules are the Guardian reported that Nicola Sanders was forced to wait at the Nagai Stadium until 4am after running in the final. This was because the urine samples she produced were deemed too weak. She was not allowed back to her hotel until 8am and then had to provide two more samples.

  Forum Editor 17:33 03 Sep 2007

There are two ways of looking at this. One view might be that if some athletes didn't try to cheat by taking performance-enhancing drugs in the first place it wouldn't be necessary for all athletes to be subjected to a regime of random testing.

People do cheat however, and experience has shown that those who do can be very cunning. That's why the rules are what you call "ridiculous" and "ludicrous". The testers know that cheating athletes will try everything in the book to avoid detection, so they must be one jump ahead, so to speak.

Genuine athletes with the right sporting ethic have to suffer because of a few people who don't have any qualms about cheating their fellow athletes.

  PalaeoBill 14:25 04 Sep 2007

FE
Yes, absolutley, but the system doesn't seem to allow for the fact that genuine atheletes are human. They get sick, they get stuck in traffic and every now and then (perhaps at 4am when they are exhasted and have had enough) they say stuff it the test can wait I am going to bed.

We need a better testing regime.

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