Science can help beat the drug cheats, says triple jumper Edwards

LONDON: Sport needs more sophisticated tests to outwit athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs, according to Britain’s Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards. 

“Unfortunately, it is an inevitable part of modern sport that there will be people trying to cheat,” Edwards said on Tuesday. 

The recent discovery of the previously undetectable steroid THG has shaken the world of sport. Test results on samples taken from this year’s World Championships in Paris revealed that two athletes tested positive for THG. 

Five athletes, including Britain’s European 100m champion Dwain Chambers, have tested positive. 

“I certainly hope he (Chambers) took it believing the advice he got was good,” Edwards said. 

Chambers was suspended this month and now faces a disciplinary hearing. 

Edwards was speaking at the launch of a new partnership between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the Engineering Technology Board (ETB), a professional body working to improve the profile of science and technology in Britain. 

Edwards believes science can help fight doping in sport, particularly through the development of new tests. 

“We need to be as clever as the people cheating,” he said. 

THG was unearthed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency when an unnamed track and field coach provided the body with the names of US and international athletes who he said were using the steroid. 

THG had been tweaked by chemists to make it undetectable under normal testing conditions. 

ETB chiefs hope science and technology can provide British athletes with the best chance of success at the 2004 Athens Olympics. – Reuters 

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