Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Theatre of the Absurd

Dear British Athletics Supporters Club member,

We have learnt from MI 6 that you are travelling to Valencia to support the British team at the World Indoor Championships. I am writing to tell you what is expected of you in order that UK Athletics may retain the considerable funding that it obtains from UK Sport.

You will know that despite considerable opposition Dwain Chambers has been selected to compete in the 60 metres at the championships. Mr Chambers is a well known drug cheat and has had a fleeting acquaintance with convicted felons Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery. It is vital that no embarrassment accrues to UK Athletics and especially UK Sport by Mr Chambers winning a medal at these championships. You will share, I know, our embarrassment in the fact that Miss Ohuruogu won a gold medal last year without recourse to UK Sport funding. To have such a thing happen a second time would be unthinkable.

As part of the War on Doping we therefore will expect you to loudly barrack Mr Chambers at every opportunity by following the excellent advice given by the editor of Athletics Weekly to boo and hiss every time he appears in the arena. Placards bearing suitable messages as DRUG CHEATS GO HOME and LET’S GET DWAIN would also have the desired effect of unsettling his performance. He should also be harried at the team hotel and on the team coach. We have done our bit, thanks to the support of Fast Track, by ensuring that, although he is representing his country, he will not be able to compete anywhere before Valencia. We are determined that Mr Chambers will not win a medal. Be assured that we feel no personal animosity to Mr Chambers.

You may have doubts about the legality of these actions. Cast them aside. Ignore the fact that both UK Athletics and UK Sport signed up to the WADA code; forget that UK Athletics selected Mr Chambers to compete in major events in 2006; take no notice that UK Athletics has shown considerable support to Carl Myerscough since he returned from a two year ban. These are irrelevant because you will now be joining in the great crusade, part of the War on Doping, launched a few weeks ago by Mr Nils de Vos to ensure that Mr Chambers is driven from the sport. Mr de Vos has assured everyone that he feels no personal animosity towards Mr Chambers.

You may feel that you are risking arrest and incarceration in a Spanish prison by taking such actions. Fear not. UK Sport has made sure that you will have the services of the British consul in Valencia who will make every effort to ensure that you receive a minimal sentence. Surely it would be a minor sacrifice to make in support of the War on Doping?

Failure to carry out these actions will, regrettably, result in your being banned from travelling to future major athletics events abroad. Your passport will be confiscated for the whole of the track season and you will be required to report to a police station on a daily basis during the period of major championships.

Forget terrorism and climate change, Doping in Sport is the major threat to the world in the 21st Century and we are taking tough measures to combat it. These are:

(1) As far as Mr Chambers is concerned we are trying to ensure that not only does he pay his own travel and hotel expenses but he receives no help from team management in Spain and, should he injure himself in the event, we have requested that he receive no medical attention. We are endeavouring to ensure that he will have difficulty booking flights to Valencia. We must again reiterate that we feel no personal animosity to Mr Chambers.
(2) We are endeavouring to make sure that Mr Chambers will receive no expert coaching. His previous coach has been instructed by the UKA Performance Director not to assist Mr Chambers during UK Athletics time. Nor can Mr Chambers avail himself of the use of Picketts Lock during UKA time.
(3) We intend to dispense with drug hearings. If an athlete is tested positive he or she will automatically be banned for life. If the innocent are wrongly punished so be it for the greater good.
(4) We are asking for an additional £1 billion per annum to enhance the War on Doping. This will enable us to extend testing into all areas of athletics including young athletes’ leagues and school championships.
(5) We will employ an additional 30,000 testers to carry out ten million tests a year.
(6) It is our aim by 2012 to have every athlete over the age of 11 tagged to ensure they are available to testers at any time of the day or night.
(7) Every toilet facility at every stadium will be covered by CTV cameras to ensure that athletes are not injecting themselves with banned substances.
(8) With the enthusiastic support of Fast Track and sponsored by Athletics Weekly we are hoping to institute additional penalties for doping offences including the use of Stocks and Ducking Stools at televised events where the public can vent their fury at drug cheats.
(9) All athletes and officials will be required to attend Hate Sessions once a month where they must shout violent abuse at pictures of Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Dwain Chambers et al.

The War on Doping must be won or it is the end of civilization as we know it. Statistics showing that less than 1% of athletes test positive doesn’t, as some believe, indicate a low level of doping; what it indicates is that we aren’t testing enough athletes.

Athletics is the first sport to enthusiastically support these measures. You should cast from your mind any subversive idea that UKA will use them to divert attention from their poor performances at major championships.

Many thanks for your support in the War on Doping. Can I once more reiterate that nobody at UK Sport or UK Athletics or indeed the media feels any personal animosity to Mr Dwain Chambers. He just happens to be a convenient fall guy providing good copy.


Doping Czar


Anonymous said...

This would be a fine article but for the fact it isn't true. De Vos stated very clearly that after 12 months on the register Chambers would be free once more to represent Gb & NI. As such to claim they are trying to ban him from athletics for life is absurd itself.

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