FREE Press sports editor Derek Bish lays claim to championing the new England manager and looks at a sporting great whose story has been overshadowed this week.
SADLY, the main Olympic story of the week – the scandalous decision to allow former British drug cheats to compete in the Games – has overshadowed one we should be celebrating.
Although my story is from the world of Winter Olympics, the contrast from the decision to allow cheats to compete at London 2012 is mind-boggling.
The skeleton bob has become one of Britain’s best events at the Winter Games, with gold medallist Amy Williams leading the way until injury called time on her career at the age of 29 this week.
Watching her race down the slopes of Vancouver, Canada, at death-defying speeds on little more than a tea-tray in 2010 was one of the most exciting British sporting moments since the turn of the century.
But while people like Williams risk their lives for sport by showing extreme guts and determination, former drugs cheats only represent the cowardly, selling out their country to try and win gold.
Clearly, the phrase ‘you are only cheating yourself’ meant nothing to these people when they were letting down their friends, families and country.
Let’s not forget, three clean athletes in Darren Campbell, Christian Malcolm and Marlon Devonish were stripped of 4x100m relay silver medals from the 2003 World Championships thanks to the selfish actions of their team-mate Dwain Chambers.
How the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) can have the cheek to sit opposite the British Olympic Association (BOA) in the Court of Arbitration for Sport is beyond me.
Wada claims it ‘promotes, co-ordinates and monitors the fight against doping in sport in all its forms’, yet quashes the BOA’s bid to keep former cheats out of its team. If this is the ‘hard-line’ approach Wada takes, no wonder we still have a problem with drugs in sport.
SO IT appears the Football Association’s panel for picking the new England manager read the Bury Free Press.
I was as happy as anyone this week to see Roy Hodgson appointed as the man to lead us into Euro 2012, the next World Cup and beyond.
His CV is by far the strongest of any Englishman in my opinion and the only thing he has going against him is that he is not Harry Redknapp in the public’s eyes.
Writing Hodgson off before he has started is just ludicrous – no matter what happened in some damaging circumstances at Liverpool.
Unless you are Sir Alex Ferguson, every manager has a bad job on their CV and as I outlined in my column a few weeks ago, this was more Liverpool’s fault than his.