There were many in sport who thought that the pulling down of the Iron Curtain in the Eastern Bloc countries would mean the end of or at least the reduction of drugs being used to enhance performance in sport, but it would appear that is far from the case. Maybe the rewards afforded our successful athletes is simply worth the risk.
The World Athletics Championships are due to be hosted in Russia later this year but it would appear they are not going to be held without questions posed. Already Britain’s head coach Peter Eriksson has raised the question as to why and how as many as 30 Russian athletes are serving bans for drug offences.
Former European long jump champion Tatyana Kotova and 2005 Hammer World Champion Olga Kuzenkova were caught after having their specimens re-tested earlier this year. Also caught was 1992 Olympic shot putt champion Svetlana Krivelyova whose sample dated back to her bronze medal win at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
It would appear that old habits die hard. Some cynics believe that this is the only way some of these nations can keep apace with the sports science developments globally.
One thing that is taking the gaze off of Eriksson’s enquiries has been the ‘will he, won’t he’ questions as to whether South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorious will participate. The organisers have stated that he is welcome, but many believe it would take all of the event away from the track and onto his pending court case in which he is accused of the murder of his girlfriend.