Callum Skinner: Drugs cheats should face harsher punishments

Callum Skinner in action

Callum Skinner is calling for tougher sanctions on athletes caught doping

Olympic champion Callum Skinner has called for harsher punishments for athletes caught doping to help rid sport of cheats.

Scotsman Skinner, 25, won team sprint gold at Rio 2016 and took bronze at this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the 1,000m time trial.

The cyclist also sits on UK Anti-Doping’s (Ukad) athletes’ committee.

“I think the sanction needs to be tougher for doping, especially for repeat offenders,” Skinner said.

“It’s disappointing and damaging to the sport. Spectators and athletes want to see genuine and honest results.

“I’d like to see career-long bans for blatant intentional doping, specifically when using substances that may have a lifelong impact as some studies suggest steroids do.”

Skinner hopes to use his role with Ukad to lobby for change.

“I want to push the cause of clean athletes as much as possible,” he added. “There is no place for cheats in sport. The benefits of clean sport are endless. Sport should be a fair competition. It’s also about athlete welfare and safety.

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Skinner, far right, earned a bronze medal at the Gold Coast Games

“Everyone can play their part in keeping their sport clean, through checking their own supplements and medications. You can report doping in sport via the UK Anti-Doping or World Anti-Doping Agency website. Even if it’s just a hunch it can be a help.

“The responsibility is ultimately on the athlete, however. What goes into your body is your responsibility. If you are unsure, please check before acting.”

Mike Whittingham, Sportscotland director of high performance, said: “Sportscotland is committed to ensuring Scottish athletes and their support teams have access to a system of world-class preparation and support.

“Our partnership with UK Anti-Doping helps ensure that we meet our shared objectives of preparing athletes for major competitions.

“Sportscotland offer free education to Scottish governing bodies of sport through our clean sport workshops and our food first workshops which educate on the risks associated with supplement use and practical skills in nutrition recovery.

“Athletes and relevant staff also have access to free advice and education through online support.

“We look forward to continuing our work with UKAD and individual sports to ensure athletes have all the relevant training and information to assist in their preparations.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44255577

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