To criminalise doping in sport in Britain
This petition had 2,703 supporters
Every needle injected into a doping athlete helps to shred the dreams of clean competitors and cheats the fans who cheer on what they believe are hard-working sportsmen and women. As The Sunday Times exposes a doctor who claims to have doped 150 sportsmen, it is clear not enough is being done to tackle the problem.
Athletes who intentionally dope are not scared of the current deterrents in place and questions have been raised over the competence of the taxpayer-funded UK anti-doping watchdog. This is why I am asking the Prime Minister David Cameron and John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to criminalise doping.
As a politician, a former chair of the British Olympic Association and an Olympian, I believe this is the only way to stamp out the scandalous betrayal that lies at the heart of the sports world.
If you too believe in fair sport and clean athletes, please add your signature below.
The UK would not be the first to take such drastic measures to tackle this problem.
Saddened by the failure of international sports bodies, many countries, ranging from New Zealand, Austria, Italy, France, and Sweden to Mexico and China, have either criminalised the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport or enacted legislation that criminalises the trafficking of these drugs.
The Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency reflected last year, "I want to pose the question: should doping be a criminal matter? It is in Italy and we think – some of us – that the real deterrent that cheating athletes fear is not being stood down from their sport for a year, two years, four years, but a fear of going to prison."
He is right. Over the years, many British Olympic athletes have taken a firm and uncompromising stance: that those guilty of cheating should never again be selected to represent their country.
Here there is the opportunity for sportsmen and women. Olympians and Paralympians, coaches and sports fans to call for action and sign this petition urging the government to act on the calls from athletes in the UK and beyond.
Politicians from across the political divide will heed the voices of our athletes and take action. If not, top-level sport will continue to be a competition between chemists in their laboratories and the greatest athletes in the world living out the Olympic ideals.
We have to turn to a new era of closer cooperation between governments, athletes, sponsors and international sports federations. We owe it to clean athletes to act and to act now.
To read The Sunday Times's work exposing the British doctor who claims to have doped 150 sportsmen, including Premier League footballers, click here
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