Großbritannien und Doping

Dokumente, Daten, Studien - Großbritannien

2009 Ivan Waddington: The recent history of drug use in British sport

Der Artikel erschien 2009 in dem Buch An Introduction to Drugs in Sport von Ivan Waddington und Andy Smith.

2005 erschien ein Vorläufer-Artikel im Journal Sport in History, 2006 wurde ein Hinweis darauf online veröffentlicht. Der Artikel ist nicht direkt abrufbar, doch der Hinweis beinhaltet eine zugrunde liegende Literaturliste mit interessanten Hinweisen:

Waddington, Ivan: Changing Patterns of Drug Use in British Sport from the 1960s


Waddington und Smith betonen, dass es schwer ist, aus den vorliegenden historischen Dokumenten, Studien, Zeitungsartikeln, persönlichen Aussagen/Zeugenaussagen und sonstigen Informationen repräsentative, methodologisch stringente Ergebnisse vorzulegen.

"There are, then, real difficultiesin trying to arrive at a Precise estimate of the changing prevalence."


Waddington/Brown untergliedern ihre Analyse* wie folgt:

Drug use in British sport: some methodological problems

Drug use in Britisg sport

Data from drug use in Britain

British sportive nationalism

British sportive nationalism: the case of Linford Christie



* Die Analyse befasst sich mit dem Versuch das Dopingverhalten und die Verbreitung von Doping im Britischen Sport während der letzten 50 - 60 Jahren darzustellen. Sehr detailliert sind die Ergebnisse nicht auch mangels vorliegender Daten. Ein Vergleich mit den sehr ausführlichen Arbeiten und Studien zur deutschen Dopinggeschichte bis Ende der 1980er Jahre bietet sich daher nicht an, auch wenn allgemeine Schlussfolgerungen durchaus übertragbar sind.


Drug use in British sport - Doping im Britischen Sport


In 1987, The Tirncs newspaper published a three-part investigation into drug use in British sport. lt concluded that there was 'no evidence to suggest that the majority of British athletes, the club competitors, take drugs' but that, despite the claims of the British Amateur Athletic Board to the contrary, 'there is little doubt that many British internationals do take them'. This, The Tirncs claimed, was confirmed by 'athletes with whom we spoke, by coaches who advise them, and bv doctors who both monitor and supply them'.

The Times (16 December 1987) characterized the history of drug taking among British athletes during the previous fifteen years as involving three processes: 'the spread from the throwving events to all the track and field disciplines; the spread from international down towards club level and the involvement of youngsters; and official connivance to cheat the testing svstem'.


Among the athletes with whom The Times spoke was Dave Abrahams, a former United Kingcom indoor record holder in the high jump. Abrahams described his return journey to Britain following the 1982 Commonrwealth Games in Brishane, Australia: 'On the plane back, most of the English team were talking about drugs. I'd say 80 per cent of them were, or had been on them'. John Docherty, a former Scottish international 400 metres hurdler who at the time lived in the south of Englancl, said that drug taking was already spreading down from the elite level to Southern League athletics, rwhich The Times described as 'the equivalent of non-League football' (16 December 1987).


Following these revelations in The Times, the Arnateur Athletic Association established a committee of enquiry chaired by Peter Coni. The committee was asked to investigate those 'allegations of drug abuse within British athletics' and, in its report, rhe Coni Enquiry confirmed that there was indeed 'widespread use of drugs in at least some sports within Britain.


It is clear that, by this time, there was alreacly developing in at least some sports within Britain a culture which was shared by some athletes and coaches and which involved not only an acceptance of drug use but also a significant degree of organization in obtaining drugs and in avoiding detection. For example, Coni described overseas training camps involving British athletes in which athletes 'sat down with their coach to work through the coming competitive season, dividing up between them the events at which testing might occur so that each would have "come off" drugs for only the minimum period to evade the risk of detection if called for testing'. Quite clearly there was already a substantial demand for, and use of, performance-enhancing drugs by British athletes by this time; a particularly striking revelation by Coni related to a training camp in Portugal in the early 1980s at which the local chemists' shops 'ran out of anabolic steroids because of the purchases by British athletes'. Coni rvas also provided with evidence of American athletes who, after competing in Europe, made a point of 'stopping over in the United Kingdom to sell off at a profit anabolic steroids they had heen able readily to buy on the cotinent before returning home'(Coni et al., 1988: para.816); such an arrangement not only points to the development of an international network of relationships through which athletes obtained drugs, but the fact that it was worthwhiile for the Americans to stop off in Britain also suggests that the trade in drugs must have heen substantial.


The Coni Report also accepted another key claim made in The Times articles: that there were doctors in Britain who were involved in 'monitoring athletes on a regular basis in circumstances which can only he construed as checking the effect upon those athletes of the drugs they have been taking to aid their performances' (Coni et al., l9B8: para. B20). The report concluded in relation to the involvement of doctors that:

Since availibility of banned drugs presents few prohlems, the end result from the standpoint of drug use by athletes - that medical advice is available for those who care to look for it - is of course rhe same, whether the doctor is prescribing, or simply monitoring the effects. We are also told that test centres are readily to hand at which a British athlete who has been using banned drugs in training can check in advance of competition that his urine sample will no longer disclose the presence of the banned drug. We are told that such centres are available in London, in Birmingham and in Edinhurgh, and no douht there are others.


In many respects, the findings of the Coni Enquiry are broadly consistent with the allegations made by 'The Tirnes. However, there was one respect in which the conclusions in the Coni Report differed from those of The Times. This related to the fact that, although Coni confirmed that the use of drugs had been widespread in some sports, it differed from The Tirnes in claiming that the period from 1976 to 1982 was the 'high point' of drug use by British athletes and that 'since perhaps 1983 the level of drug abuse in British athletics has reduced' (Coni et al., 1988: para. B19).


There is, in fact, no evidence to support the claim that there had been a significant reduction in drug use hy elite British athletes irom the earlv 1980s; indeed, public statements from other, very experienced, British athletes ran directly counter to this claim.


... it is important to emphasize that the Coni Enquiry was not a genuinely independent enquiry in the manner of the Black Enquiry in Australia or the Duhin Commission in Canada; it was an enquiry established by a body - the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) which was itself centrally involrlved in administering those sports which were the focus of the allegations made by The Tlrnes.


... there has been no systematic attempt by any national sporting hody to monitor the extent of drug use in British sport.

For an understanding of drug use in the 1990s and the early years of the twenty-first century, We are therefore dependent once again on occasional studies and reports by investigative journalists. However, these investigations did not use similar methods, nor ask the same questions, as earlier ones and therefore the data are not directly comparable. ...


In 1995, the Sports Council carried out a survey of the experiences and views of British elite athletes concerning anti-doping controls in the United Kingdom. Of the 448 British Olympic athletes who took part in the survey, 48 per cent felt that drug use was a problem in international competition in their sport, and in track-and-field the figure was as high as 86 per cent.


Another survey of British elite athletes - and one which more directly sheds light on the use of drugs in British sport - was carried out by The Indlependent nwespaper in December 1998 as part of week-long investigation into drng use in sport. Tlre Inclepenclent sent out questionnaires to over 1,300 British elite sportsmen and sportswomen, of whom over 300 replied.


1990 and later

... there has been no systematic attempt by any national sporting body to monitor the extent of drug use in British sport.

For an understanding of drug use in the 1990s and the early years of the twenty-first century, we are therefore dependent once again on occasional studies and reports by investigative journalists. However, these investigations did not use similar methods, nor ask the same questions, as earlier ones and therefore the data are not directly comparable. ...


In 1995, the Sports Council carried out a survey of the experiences and views of British elite athletes concerning anti-doping controls in the United Kingdom. Of the 448 British Olympic athletes who took part in the survey, 48 per cent felt that drug use was a problem in international competition in their sport, and in track-and-field the figure was as high as 86 per cent.


Another survey of British elite athletes - and one which more directly sheds light on the use of drugs in British sport - was carried out by The Indlependent nwespaper in December 1998 as part of week-long investigation into drng use in sport. Tlre Inclepenclent sent out questionnaires to over 1,300 British elite sportsmen and sportswomen, of whom over 300 replied (mehr Informationen siehe >>> hier).


Three years before the lndependent investigation, a BBC radio documentary claimed that the use of anabolic steroids was widespread among rugby union players in Wales and their counterparts in English rugby league. The programme claimed that at least 150 players in rugby union and league were taking analbolic steroids, while the director of the Drugs and Sport Information Service in Liverpool said that his organization had dealt with 30 to 40 players from the two rughy codes, some of whom were internationals (Guardian,4 Septemher 1995). One year after the Independent investigation, the Obseruer (24 October 1999) drew attention once again to the extent of drug use in rugby union and claimed that the use of steroids was 'commonplace'. It claimed that the use of steroids began to become increasingly widespread from the early'1990s and cited a former international player as saying that rugby wass 'awash with drugs' and that the use of steroids had heen associated with 'incredible changes in players' size, shape and bulk in recent years'.


The most recent systematic study ot drug use in British sport in general (as opposed to studies of drug use in specific sports such as soccer (see Waddington et al., 2005; and Chapter 9) was carried out in 2001 by PMP Consultancy on behalf of the European Commission.


After reviewing all the data, from many sources, PMP concluded that 'doping in sport is much more widespread than is generally recognised or admitted' by the general public, by professional sports. persons and also by national and international federations and the IOC. ...

PMP also pointed out that 'doping is not a problem confined to elite sports and, except at the elite level, the distinction between sport-related drug use and social drug use is becoming increasingly blurred, particularly with non-sports people using "sports drugs" such as anaholic steroids'.


ln 1992, a study among gym users in West Glamorgan, Wales, found that 38.8 per cent admitted having used steroids. Of those who had used steroids, 71 per cent used them for bodybuilding, 11.3 per cent for powerlifting, 6.5 per cent for weightlifting and 11.3 per cenr for general fitness training (Perry et al., 1992).


What conclusions, then, can he drawn about the prevalence of drug use in British sport? Unfortunately the data are too fragmented and characterized by too many methodological problems to allow us to estimate in any very precise way the extent of drug use. Nevertheless, the data do allow us to draw some conclusions about general trends in drug use in British sport. More specilically, the following points can be made with a fair degree of confidence:


I There has been a substantial increase in the illicit use of performanceenhancing drugs by elite British athletes since the early 1960s.

2 In athletics, the use of performance-enhancing drugs, which was originally concentrated in the heavy throwing events, has subsequently spread to many other track and field events.

3 The use of performance-enhancing drugs has also spread from athletics and wheightlifting - the sports in which drugs appear to have been most frequently used in the 1960s - to many other sports.

4 Although the prevalence of drug use varies considerably from one sport to another it is clear that in some sports drug use is widespread.

5 The use of performance-enhancing drugs has diflused down from elite sport and is now, widespread in recreational and non-competitive sport.


British sportive nationalism

Der Bergriff 'sportive nationalism' wurde von John Hoberman geprägt. Er besagt, das Nationen, Regierungen, Verbände im Erreichen sportlicher Ziele ihre Interessen über die der allgemeinen internationalen Vereinbarungen zu stellen. Sie messen mit zweierlei Maß.


Im Falle Großbritanniens heißt dies, so wie es Ivan Waddington heraus arbeitet, dass Dopingregularien und die Verfolgung von Dopingfällen, insbesondere wenn es sich um prominente Sportler handelte, nicht korrekt nach den gültigen Standards behandelt wurden. Oberstes Ziel war Gewinnen, waren Podestplätze, Medaillen zur Ehre der Nation.



... over the lasr two decades there have been repeated claims that the governing bodies of British sport have applied double standards for, while publicity demanding strict doping controls, they have at the same time refused to take action against several British athletes who have tested positive. The view that Britain was applying double standards gained ground after 1988 when, at the Seoul Olympics, four British athletes failed drug tests during the games but Robert Watson, a barrister who was then the British Olympic Association (BOA) treasurer, argued successfully for three of them to escape sanctions. The three included Linford Christie, who had tested positive for pseudoephedrine; the BOA supported Christie's claim that this had been contained in ginseng tea which he had drunk and the IOC gave him 'the benefit of the doubt'. Four years later Christie became Olympic champion at 100 metres but he was later to serve a two year ban following a positive test for nandrolone.


In the last decade or so there has heen a pattern of British athletes escaping sanctions by their governing bodies despite testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Shortly before the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, The Obseruer revealed that Lennie Paul, the brakeman in the British bobsleigh team, had escaped a suspension despite a positive test for nandrolone. The British Bobsleigh Association accepted Paul's explanation that he had unknowingly ingested the drug while eating beef, though earlier claims that contaminated meat had caused athletes to test positive - as in the case of the Australian sprinter, Dean Caprobianco - had been rejectecl.


Three years later, at a conference organized hy UK Sport in London, the acting chief executive of the Australian Sports Drugs Agency, John Mendoza, expressed concern that several positive test results involving British competitors had not resulted in the imposition of suspensions, and he suggested that Britain was coming to he seen as heing particularly lenient in the way in which it dealt with athletes who tested positive. Mendoza almost certainly had in mind the fact that UK Athletics (the governing hody for track and field) had cleared several British athletes, including Linford Christie, who had tested. positive for nandrolone, only for the IAAF subsequently to suspend them. ...


Similar criticisms have been made by some writers within the UK. David Walsh, writing in The Sunday Times in October 2001, argued that it would be wrong to assume Britain is doing all that it can [to combat drug use] and that UK Athletics ist leading the Anti-Doping fight.


While concern has been expressed about the willingness of British sporting authorities to play down or even excuse the drug-related misdemeanours of British athletes, similar concern has also recently been expressed about what has been held to be the application of double standards in relation to the employment of the former East German coach, Dr Ekkart Arbeit, by the British athlete, Denise Lewis. In 2003 it was revealed that Lewis, who won the gold medal in the heptathlon in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, had engaged Arbeit as her coach. Arbeit had formerly been the head of the East German atletics team and his work in this capacity had been revealed by Professor Werner Franke, who discovered his name in the files of the East German secret police, the Stasi, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in

1989. These files revealed that Arbeit had since 1968 been a central figure in shaping the policy which involved the systematic doping of thousands of East German athletes, many of them teenagers and without their knowledge and consent, that he had spied on his fellow coaches and doctors for the Stasi and that he had reported doctors who refused to administer drugs to athletes (Guardian, 22 April 2003). Arbeit had been recommended to Lewis by her coach, the former national director of coaching, Frank Dick who, we noted earlier in this chapter, had in 1995 been accused by the Sunday Times of 'turning a blind eye' to athletes who used drugs, and who seemed unconcerned by any ethical issues which Arheit's appointment might raise; Dick's view was simply that Lervis 'needs the hest advice availahle and that 'l have decided that Ekkart is the best person to work with me on throws and conditioning to help Denise'.


British sporting nationalism: the case of Linford Christie

Perhaps the clearest example of sporting nationalism in British sport concerns the case of Linford Christie.


Even while under suspension, Christie continued to enjoy celebrity status and to plav a major part in British athletics for, although as a suspended athlete he was denied official accreditation for the 2000 Olympics, he continued to act as coach to several British athletes who competed in those Olympics.


The rehabilitation of Christie has continued since the 2000 Olympics. Christie has, for example, presented certificates to primary school children for their work in environmental projects.


More recently, in August 2006, UK Athletics - which it will be recalled, refused to sanction Christie even after his positive drug test installed Brirish sport Christie as an official 'mentor' to the British sprint team in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, despite the fact that, as an athlete who has tested positive for drugs, Christie himself is banned from taking part in any way in the Olympic Games. [Anmerkung: IOC-Osaka-Regel von 2007, wurde 2011 vom CAS aufgehoben]



Christie's 'favoured status' has recently been reconfirmed by Sport England, who are using Christie to front their 'street Athletics' programme, which is designed to uncover athletic talent in innercity areas; the blurb on Sport England's website says it is looking for the 'next Linford Christie'l (The Quardian, 3l July 2007).


Zusammenfassung der Analyse - Conclusion



For reasons explained earlier, it is not possible to arrive at any precise estimate of the extent of drug use in British sport. Nevertheless, the data do suggest that since the 1960s there has been a substantial increase in the use of performance-enhancing drugs by British athletes. More particularly, it is clear that, in athletics, the use of drugs has spread from the heavy throwing events to many other track and field events, and that it has spread from athletics and weightlifting - the sports in which drugs were most frequently used in the 1960s to many other sports. It is also clear that the use of performance-enhancing drugs has spread down from the elite level to much lower levels, and that the use of drugs, particularly anabolic steroids, is widespread among non-competitive recreational athletes in other sport-related contexts such as gymnasiums. In all these respects ... the development of the pattern of drug use in sport in Britain appears to have been broadly similar to that in most other western liberal democracies and to the development of the pattern of drug use in international sport more generally.


In seeking to understand some of the more problematic aspects of anti-doping policy in Britain, and in particular the allegations that British sport has often operated double standards in relation to doping control, it might be noted that for many years many governing bodies within British sport – and indeed, to some degree, the British government itself - would appear to have had a conflict of interest. This was in fact one of the conclusions of the PMP report (PMP Consultancy, 2001a, Studies to Combat Doping in Sport) which noted that in the UK (and also in France and Germany) there was


evidence that some national governing bodies of sport and other sporting organisations lack openness and transparency in relation to doping issues. They can appear to have little or no motivation to tackle the situation; indeed they may prevent measures to expose its prevalence. This stems from the conflicting interests which arise when bodies whose role is to promote sports excellence and success are also charged with anti-doping responsibilities.


It went on to note that 'conflicting interests may also affect governmental anti-doping policy due to the pressures associated with the public funding of performance sport as a tool to enhance national pride and to demonstrate a nation's prowess in relation to sporting excellence'.


An almost identical conclusion was reached in a report on drug use in sport, published the following year by the British Medical Association (BMA 2002, Drugs In Sport: The Pressure To Perform). That report noted that successive British governments have in recent years adopted a high-performance sports strategy which is aimed at achieving sporting success in the Olympic Games and in world and other international championships, and it notes that for much of that time, 'it has not appeared that drug-free sport was central to the government's high-performance sports strategy'. In this regard, the report concludes:


The overriding impression of anti-doping efforts in the UK has been that government enthusiasm has been intermittent and that many organisations have a conflict of interest. The major governing bodies are in the position of seeking to maximise international success while at the same time rigorously enforcing an anti-doping policy which is certainly perceived by some as a major threat to the achievement of that success. lt is certainly questionahle whether governing bodies can be both gamekeeper and poacher with equal enthusiasm. (BMA, 2002: 110)


The same issue was raised once again in 2007 by the House of Commons (HC) Science and Technology Committee, in its report on Humar Enhancement Technologies in Sport (2007). The committee noted that organisations with responsibilities for doping control may have a conflict of interest and recommended that 'a separate body be established to undertake these roles in the UK, independent of UK Sport and the national governing bodies of individual sports' (HC, 2007: 55). The recommendation was almost immediately and cursorily rejected by the Director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport, John Scott, who dismissed the recommendation with the comment that this was 'something which gets raised from time to time and I don't feel in this instance that anything has been particularly added to the debate, (UK Sport, 2007). This was hardly a reasoned response to its critics and, before the end of the year, UK Sport had, presumably as a result of continued pressure from outside organizations, changed its policy and, in December 2007, it announced it was to set up an independent National Anti-Doping Panel to hear doping cases on hehalf of national governing bodies. Curiously, a proposal which Scott had a ferv months earlier cursorily dismissed he proudly described, in January 2008, as 'a hugely exciting development in the 6ght against doping in sport in the UK' and a further sign of the work that UK Sport is doing... to lead the world in anti-doping, (UK Sport, 2008). Such a claim to leadership is hardly convincing, for international leaders in the field of anti-doping such as Denmark, Norway, Austraiia and the United States have for many years already had anti-doping organizations which were independent of national governing bodies. UK sport's claim to leadership would also have been more convincing had it not had to be badgered into changing a system which its critics had long recognized as unsatisfactory.


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