There is huge public interest in sport. The investment of time and money in following sporting performances and sporting heroes is colossal. International sporting events attract the largest audiences in the world. Significant sums of public money are invested in sport.
The Government has recently put a renewed emphasis on active and healthy lifestyles in order to improve public health and alleviate future demands on the NHS. In this, and in other areas, the influence of high profile sportsmen and -women on our lives is substantial and pervasive. The Government needs to review investments in initiatives, alongside key national sports, to maximise the obvious potential of sport and sportspeople to inspire grassroots participation, as well as future champions, amongst the younger generations. We believe there is, therefore, an important policy imperative for the Government to assist sports to keep themselves clean and fair as well as successful at an elite level and popular within the community. A key issue is the fight against the use of banned drugs and methods.
Doping in sport attracts headlines and media speculation far in excess of the actual prevalence indicated in our evidence. However, perceptions of drug use amongst rivals can only increase the already huge pressures on elite sportsmen and -women preparing for competition. A sport with a bad reputation will create disincentives for aspiring youngsters, and crucially their parents, to make the commitments necessary to achieve excellence. The Government also needs to make an assessment of the extent of the abuse of steroids outside elite sport and the implications of this for public health.
Editor's comments - [ The UK has a relatively effective system for the drugs testing of sportsmen and -women in this country run by UK Sport and compliance with WADA obligations seems to be welladvanced. Relative weaknesses in the UK’s anti-doping programme relate to: the management of anti-doping cases and hearings; educational provision; and the quality of available data on the results of the testing programme. There is a challenge for the international anti-doping effort in the contamination of dietary supplements with banned substances. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : House of Commons. (2004). Drugs and role models in sport: making and setting examples. London: TSO
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