24 February 2012

Dunn: Dopers must stay away from London 2012

Former Australian swimming star Matt Dunn has warned athletes who take performance enhancing substances to stay away from the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer.

The three-time Olympian delivered his anti-doping message from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Athlete Committee meeting in Tokyo (February 21).

Dunn was appointed to the WADA committee in November 2011 and is keen to use his Olympic experience to caution athletes against using drugs to try and boost their chances at London 2012.

“Some sportsmen and women take drugs to try and cheat their way on to an Olympic team or to a medal at the Games, rather than relying on hard work and natural talent,” said Dunn.

“My message to them is simple: do not do it – it is cheating and it is dangerous to your health. The consequences far outweigh the benefits.

“London 2012 will be the most tested Games in Olympic history and there will huge emphasis on detecting and sanctioning the doping athlete.

“Any athlete who has taken drugs must be true to themselves and true to sport by staying away from the Games.

“For most athletes, the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of sporting achievement. Enjoy it for what it is and do not throw it all away by doping.”

The WADA Athlete Committee was meeting on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, and Dunn explained his motives for joining the fight against doping in sport.

“I strongly disagree with drugs in sport but I also realize that some athletes can be influenced to make the wrong decisions,” added Dunn, who swam at the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games.

“If, by spreading the anti-doping message, I can help athletes to stay clear of drugs then it will give me great satisfaction and I will have done sport a service.”

WADA’s Athlete Committee will meet again in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 18 and 19.