Drug cheats: Sports science expert praises the International Olympic Committee for retesting athlete samples

Drug cheats: Sports science expert praises the International Olympic Committee for retesting athlete samples

A doping centre testing for banned substances

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Professor John Brewer has praised the International Olympic Committee's decision to retest hundreds of athlete samples from the Olympics of 2008 and 2012.

This follows the committee examining hundreds of samples from those two games after finding suspicious results from 31 unnamed athletes in Beijing. They have announced dozens of athletes could be banned from the upcoming games in Rio De Janeiro based on the outcome of the results.

The professor, who works at St. Mary's University in Twickenham, called it "really good news."

He added: "It shows a clear intent the authorities are keen to ensure any athlete who may have taken a banned substance can't sleep easily. What we're seeing are advances in the scientific methods in which urine and blood samples are analysed.

"When there is clear evidence something is in an athlete's system, the authorities will step in and try to ban them."

The sports scientist highlighted how dangerous chemicals like anabolic steroids can be to the athletes, both in terms of their health and careers.

"They can create long-term, potentially life-threatening or life-changing illness," he continued. "They may have performance enhancing effects, but the damage they can do to the body is huge.

"There are also devastating impacts on the lives of their families, their followers, and sponsors as well, so it's very important we educate athletes from an early age about all the problems associated with taking banned drugs."

Brewer insisted science needed to stay ahead of the game in order to ensure fair competition.

"I'm uncomfortable with the fact there will always be individuals who will look to bend the rules," he admitted. "We have to have the education process, testing, and the science at the highest possible level to ensure we have clean sport wherever we can."