Olympic Medalist Highlights Insane Extent Of Doping In Swimming

Olympic Medalist Highlights Insane Extent Of Doping In Swimming
By Arthur James O'Dea

An Olympic silver-medalist in 2012, Britain's Michael Jamieson was suffering with suicidal thoughts by 2014.

In a revealing interview with Donald McRae for The Guardian, the one-time world-class swimmer explained how he overcame these lows and is now well on the road to recovery.

Working with young athletes, Jamieson's core message to these aspiring hopefuls has drastically changed compared to the approach he once took as normal.

Whereas he believed himself to be "addicted to training", Jamieson now encourages young athletes to plan for life outside of sport. Contrary to this broader, healthier approach, Jamieson remains certain that swimming is a sport rife with doping issues:

I don't want to tarnish everyone with the same brush but we've seen foul play with the Russians, eastern bloc nations and the Chinese.

Once we were at an international camp in Australia at an outdoor pool. There were basic aluminium starting blocks and pouring rain and six athletes swam 3.44 or faster for 400 freestyle.

It's impossible.

How does Jamieson propose that this problem can be gotten out ahead of? "I have no idea."

My opinion is it's still a huge issue today. Micro-dosing is virtually untraceable. The natural levels of testosterone have parameters so wide you can micro-dose slightly and have a huge benefit.

Within 24 hours it's gone but you benefit for three months.

A fairly grim portrayal of a sport he has dedicated most of his life to and continues to be involved in up to the modern day, Jamieson's public condemnation of the bodies charged with policing such incidents will not as easily go unnoticed.

Previously, fellow British athlete Andy Murray spoke of his dismay at the apparent issue professional tennis had with doping. Such actions on the part of athletes themselves tend to cause ructions within the sport, and, with any luck, Jamieson's openness will have some ramifications.

See Also: Tomás Ó Sé Damns 'Disgraceful' Tyrone Display Against Galway


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