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  • Winky

    Simple solution. Lifetime bans for convicted dopers. Ban them from anything to do with the sport forever. Let them get real jobs. We don’t need them, and won’t miss them. Races will still be won and lost, “heroes” will still emerge.

  • SilverD

    I agree, but not in that prison is for cyclists, but also for doctors and team managers.

  • darrindg

    Has it worked in Italy? The burden of proof for a criminal conviction would surely need to be greater than the current system (given that the penalties would be more severe). Would the biological passport cut it – I’m not so sure… Not sure than making it a criminal offence would speed anything up, cost less, or result in more cheats being caught.

    • Dave

      Indeed. The standard required to ban someone under the WADA code is well short of that required for a major criminal trial, and it would be easy to secure enough reasonable doubt to get off.

      Just about any jurisdiction where gambling on sport is legalised would already be able to prosecute dopers under their existing fraud legislation – but the catch would be in convincing the public prosecution service that it would be in the public interest to spend that money on chasing dopers through the courts instead of rapists or terrorists.

  • Tawny Frogmouth

    Dumb idea…Prisons are crowded enough… And costs society money
    Like Winky says, Just ban them for life
    No more Thomas Decker come backs

  • Derek Maher

    What about non pro,s who take a puff. Jail them as well ?.
    Yes lets have another expensive layer added to the top heavy committees so these guys sitting on their butts can make more from sport.
    How much will it cost the tax payer if athletes go to jail.
    If money is involved a hefty fine and ban for the guilty should do the trick.

  • JBS

    Howman’s clearly going taking a moderate route here. Death by firing squad would be a bigger deterent!

  • A

    Scary that simplistic morons like this can make it to the top of their organizations.

    • jules

      every regulator wants more powers, higher penalties. WADA are no different. when you’re in charge of regulating one particular matter, it inevitably becomes ‘the most important’ matter in your eyes, and stricter penalties seem so obvious. the logical extension is a police state, with jail for everything. there needs to be balance.

  • Anon N + 1

    Mr. Meher and Mr. Frogmouth make some important points: Jurisdiction – Where will the accused be tried and, if convicted, imprisoned? Standard of Proof – Beyond a reasonable doubt? a Preponderance of evidence? Probably that will depend on the jurisdiction. Proof required in Malaysia might be different than that required in, say, Kazakhstan. Cost – Keeping a person in prison is expensive (about as much a year at a top-rated college in the US). Who pays for it? The country in which the conviction occurred? The athletes home country? The country from whom the athlete obtained a license?

    Looks to me as though Mr. Howman hasn’t thought things through. More to the point would be to address the delays at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    • Dave

      I don’t think Howman has any need to have thought it all through – he’s clearly trying to provoke reactions instead of making a realistic proposal.

  • chiwode

    I wish there was a way to force riders to give up the whole supply chain. Doctors, directors, couriers, dealers, whoever else had a hand in the doping. Contrary to what every busted rider claims in the media, I doubt that they did the doping solely on their own without help from teammates or officials. I don’t feel right just punishing the athlete alone.

    • Dave

      Perhaps an automatic sanction of a life ban for any offence – but able to be downgraded to a suspension on the basis of the evidence turned in.

      It wouldn’t, however, be much use where the substances used are prohibited by sporting bodies but otherwise legal in the real world.

  • Kenneth Sanders

    Simple solution without jail time, first time your test comes back positive and the second sample returns yet another positive = lifetime ban, repay your salary to the team and any additional fines for damages to the sponsors.

  • OhRoie

    NSW already has a law against fraud or “Obtain Benefit by Deception:”

    Section 178BA of the Crimes Act states:

    (1) Whosoever by any deception dishonestly obtains for himself or
    herself or another person any money or valuable thing or any financial
    advantage of any kind whatsoever shall be liable to imprisonment for 5

    Surely that would cover it….

  • Kellen Hassell

    Yeah, because the death penalty works so well as a crime & murder deterrent…. dumbass.

  • Fleur


  • Abdu

    When you look at the AFL and Essendon, that doping was systematic and ordered by the coach and his quack assistants. Although the players were grown men, it was made clear that everyone had to partake.

    How would that sit with a young rider on a cycling team? The DS tells him doping is what he needs to do, he (the DS) did it when he raced for Festina and he was fine (apart from the horse like jaw). The only other choice for the rider is giving up his dream, and going home.

    Would that be fair to jail the rider?

    Clearly, until all those ex dopers still working as the DS’ and team management are cleaned out, nothing will change. At a rough count a year or so ago, I spent an hour totalling up over 45 people in team management of Pro teams who had doped (been sanctioned or were so dirty it wasn’t funny).

  • Abdu

    And yet Usain Bolt is one of the most recognised and successful athletes in the world.

    The Mens 100m in the Olympics has been like a test lab of steroidal pumped up freaks for years, the book “The dirtiest race in history” from the 1988 Olympics was a ripper. You had to go down about 7th place to find a halfway clean runner. No one, no one can win clean anymore. They’ve even let Gatlin and some of the dirtiest back to race.

    No questions about Bolt though. None. The sheer lack of testing from his home nation, the “too big to fail” status now, the backing of Nike (and recent scandal with Salazar’s Nike funded long distance ‘super team’).

    Move on…nothing to see here.


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