By Ray Fleming

On the first anniversary of the London Olympics which he led with such skill and flair, Lord Sebastian Coe has made an important statement this week in favour of a broadening of responsibility for doping in athletics. Although athletes themselves must continue to take principal responsibility Coe believes that the role of their coaches, agents and physios must also be examined with much greater rigour than at the moment and that they should also be liable to punishment if found guilty.

Lord Coe's timing is well-judged. The Anniversary Games are starting in London and the World Championships will shortly take place in Moscow where, for the first time, there will be automatic blood and urine tests of all participants. The Commonwealth Games next year in Glasgow, the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 and the Word Championships in London in 2017 all follow. Coe is vice-president of the IAAF athletics' governing body and he may soon become president. He made clear this week he would be a strong leader on doping. He wants a resumption of four year suspensions in place of the current two-years which enable athletes to keep in training and return to the tracks very quickly. And in a comment he said he wants to end the risk that increasingly “people will look at athletes as they look at American wrestling, knowing it's fake.”


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