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Punish the dopers

AROUND 1 in 10 sports fans believe that doping cheats should receive a lifetime ban and have all of their wins and medals taken away from them.

Just days before Anthony Joshua is set to face off against Alexander Povetkin, a recent survey conducted by online sportsbook Betfair has revealed that 12% of sports fans believe that sportsmen and sportswomen that have been caught doping should receive a lifetime ban from the sport and have all accolades taken away.

Joshua’s upcoming opponent, APovetkin, has been involved in two drug scandals in as many years. The Russian fighter tested positive for banned substances in 2016 and was given an indefinite ban by the WBC in 2017 along with a $250,000 fine.

However, the ban was lifted 10 months later with no additional punishments.

Povetkin has fought on a couple of occasions since his ban was lifted, but the upcoming fight with Joshua has brought his drug scandal case back into the limelight and started a discussion about what should happen to athletes once they’ve been found guilty of doping by using illegal substances.

This atmosphere also surrounded the fight last weekend between Canelo Alvarez and GGG, taking place in September due to a failed drugs test back in February. Alvarez has failed more than one drug test but has always avoided a ban despite this: should he receive a lifetime ban?

Dr Leon Creaney, consultant in sport & exercise medicine, believes that the tame punishment athletes are currently at risk at, means they are more willing to take their chances: “The average ban for doping is between two and four years. In the past lifetime bans were enforced, however, they were often overturned by the court. The issue is there is a debate between the right to work and the sport to protect itself.

Additionally, as the ban is low more athletes are likely to take the risk and this is explored in the film Game Theory. Athletes compare the possible risk with the potential benefits and shows if a harsher punishment was in place, less would be open to doping.”

Not everyone believes that being caught doping should carry such a harsh punishment. The survey also revealed that 18.67% of fans believed that a doping ban should only carry for the remainder of the season whilst 14.67% believed that they should only suffer an automatic defeat.

Furthermore, as the age of those surveyed goes up, tendency to want harsher punishments did too.

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