Sunday 23 April 2017

Sport can be cleaner - O'Rourke

Derval O'Rourke: 'A certain amount of people will always try and cheat so you need very, very stringent controls in place'. Photo: Sportsfile
Derval O'Rourke: 'A certain amount of people will always try and cheat so you need very, very stringent controls in place'. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Former world indoor champion Derval O'Rourke doesn't believe that sport will ever be completely clean of doping.

O'Rourke, who was speaking at the launch of Aviva's 'move your met' fitness challenge, maintained that although exposing scandals such as Operation Puerto further highlights the rampant issue, it shows that the right steps are being taken to combat doping.

"It's interesting, when these stories come out, people view it as a negative whereas I sort of view it as a another case that's been exposed," O'Rourke said.

"Every time something gets exposed and has to be tidied up, at least it's being exposed and people aren't just pretending. I prefer that. I want the reality to be out there.

"I think the gatekeepers of sport need to work very hard and their priority has to be the integrity of sport and doing everything they can to keep it clean.

"Whether that means putting a lot more money into testing, regulations, governance, everything.

"I think it's naive to think that sport will ever be completely clean but could it be cleaner? Absolutely. You have to look at who's running the sports."

O'Rourke also encouraged athletes not to get distracted or caught up in the doping scandals that have gripped athletics in particular.

"You get very jaded by it. I competed for 12 years and people were always whispering about doping so it's not like any of the big stories came as a surprise to me.

"You just wish someone could get a magic wand, clean everything up and put the structures in place that make it very difficult to dope because I think that by human nature, people will cheat. A certain amount of people will always try and cheat so you need very, very stringent controls in place.

"If I was an athlete and I was starting out, I would go, 'Right, control the controllables'. You can't worry about if it's ever going to be clean," she added.

Irish Independent

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