Joanne O’Riordan: Mo Farah should have to face Jeremy Kyle
The debacle UK Athletics and Ukada find themselves in is farcical and nonsensical
Mo Farah: Apparently Mo has trouble hearing, trouble remembering, has problems filling out his whereabouts forms, goes to the wrong country. Photograph: Kamil Jrzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)
If there was one man I would have in charge of anti-doping agencies or even just investigating athletes by randomly turning up on their doorstep, without a doubt, it would be Jeremy Kyle.
The man is unemployed since his ITV show went downhill, he is obsessed with lie detectors and busting drug cheats as well as welfare frauds, and nothing beats that smug look when he opens the envelope to break down another family and tear them from the seam.
But, maybe that is the type of ruthlessness we need when it comes to ensuring sport is clean. Imagine watching the likes of Lance Armstrong on that stage in those awfully uncomfortable chairs.
“The test results came in and… WELL, WELL, WELL… FILTHY LIAR, AREN’T YA?”. You could almost write a full-length Saturday Night Live sketch as Jeremy Kyle cracks even the sturdiest and most robust of athletes.
And what about poor old Sir Mo Farah if he appeared on the now-defunct ITV show? Jeremy Kyle’s lie detector would go up in smoke just like Mo’s doorbell. In fact, I’m sure Graham, the weird counsellor who became part and parcel of the show, would probably need to go back to university to brush up on his liars who display psychopathic traits.
Imagine putting Ukada up there as well as UK Athletics. Dr Chakraverty and head of performance Barry Fudge would continue to spout how their workload and lack of time was definitely the reason why they forgot to sign off on it for the testing papers. As Fudge continues to plead his innocence and explain why he got on that flight to Switzerland to pick up L-carnitine for now-disgraced Alberto Salazar, we would definitely have to cut to an ad break to digest what we had just seen.
But that’s how farcical and nonsensical this whole debacle is that UK Athletics and Ukada have found themselves in.
The fact that protecting a couple of darling athletes has resulted in opening up an entire system of semi state-sponsored doping and an evident disregard for athletes’ welfare is scandalous. You could only hope that, at best, those within the top echelons of British Athletics charged with the duty of keeping British sport clean are incompetent.
But, in reality, it looks like they have turned a blind eye and ensured that all those from Farah to Wiggins to Froome to even Salazar himself were never caught. The mere refusal to hand over samples and the way they can provide inadequate evidence to parliamentary groups is nothing short of scandalous.
The way Dr Chakraverty sat during questioning by a parliamentary group and used fatigue and overwork as an excuse for not providing the correct and on-time information on Wada forms would make you feel ill.
Especially when you discover the concocted plans devised by Dr Chakraverty and Barry Fudge along with Salazar and UK athletics head of performance director Neil Black as well as the fact it took four injections over two hours with everybody present. Imagine magically forgetting a flight to Switzerland to meet a friend of the biggest cheat in athletics and then forgetting watching someone inject an athlete.
And the way Mo Farah sat for five hours during Usada questioning about his injections that he forgot but then, after a quick break and liaison with his group of friends, Mo magically remembered his injections that could boost his performance for the London Marathon.
But, it’s not Mo’s fault. Mo just wants to run and eat Quorn, but his coaches and team-mates keep being accused of using PEDs, both legal and illegal. Mo has trouble hearing, trouble remembering, has problems filling out his whereabouts forms, goes to the wrong country and was once identified by the IAAF as being “likely doping”. It’s really not his fault.
But, yet, the most troubling afterthought is if it was not uncovered by some diligent and incredibly hard-working journalists, then those responsible would never have been held to account.
We are told time and time again to keep trusting those we elect to power despite the evidence to the contrary. If we can’t trust those in power to do the job we deem them worthy for, how can we trust that a whole system put in place by these people is, in fact, fair and will catch those who are in the wrong?
The vast majority of those caught speeding usually aren’t doing it for the first time, and a wealthy athlete who is protected and bubble-wrapped and held on a pedestal cannot be trusted when they say they have never failed a drug test.
It is often used by said athletes when they are trying to deflect from the grave accusations hidden away behind them. There’s no smoke without fire, maybe Ukada and UK Athletics should quench their own flames rather than pointing fingers and deflecting.