Coaches Down Under Urged To Return $$$ From ‘Cheats’ Using Australia As Safe Haven

Ning Zetao - thumbs up before the gun went off in Kazan - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Australian coaches have been urged by one of their leadership peers Down Under to stop making money out of training cheats. Bill Sweetenham has challenged the likes of Dennis Cotterell to hand back the money they earned from China and swimmers who subsequently tested positive for doping. He says Australia should not be seen as a ‘safe haven’ for cheats

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Australian coaches have been urged by one of their leadership peers Down Under to stop making money out of training cheats. Bill Sweetenham has challenged the likes of Dennis Cotterell to hand back the money they earned from China and swimmers who subsequently tested positive for doping. He says Australia should not be seen as a ‘safe haven’ for cheats

Comments

Ger

What exactly is the smokescreen? Is the suspicion that the Chinese swimming authority knows these athletes are doping and tries to cover up their improvements by putting it down to training in Australia with top coaches?

pegasus523

Park Tae-hwan leaves KOR because DC rules there do not allow him to train at home. JPN does not have a similar rule? AUS? USA?

Are Sun Yang and Ning Zetao not permitted to train in CHN? How many current and recent athletes guilty of doping offences are training in other federations? How many in AUS? Any in USA or GER or GBR?

It’s difficult to fault a coach for maximizing his talents in an open economic arena simply on ethical grounds. BUT…..the problem of cheats finding a home abroad can be met if we all unite to adopt rules for coaches that match the rules for athletes….

“….some or all sport-related financial support or other sport-related benefits….” be withheld or denied

“…..unless fairness requires otherwise, be disqualified with all of the resulting Consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.”

The stakes are so very high if we cannot unite and take such hard stands.

Craig Lord

Roy, there is a difference in those cases, whatever you call them: the Australian taxpayer funds the facilities where they train…. but one of them is foreign and beating Australians. In the USA, lots of foreign kids in the mix. They are not subsidised by the taxpayer. We should also note that Australia takes a generous view,coaching foreigners at funded centres as long as they submit to regular asada testing. As for Sweetenham, he is speaking as a coaching leader (and may also speak as a taxpayer); he has a right to do so – without any requirement to provide the funding that would be lost if Australian coaches had a standard to stick to and were unable to accept money from programs that then prove themselves to be untrustworthy. There is no provision in WADA rules for calling those who fall foul a ‘cheat’ or an ‘accident’. Both cases you mention fall into the category of having fallen foul of anti-doping rules.

Craig Lord

Excellent points, Pegasus. It is about common acceptance of standards in the fight against doping… you let that guard down as a coach and you become part of the problem, regardless of the money being offered by those who subsequently prove themselves to be untrustworthy.

Craig Lord

Ger, it is not the Government per se. Go down to local level in China, however, and you find signs of systematic bad practice. In a world where a man can walk into a mixed zone at the All-China Games and tell certain swimmers to leave – and the race goes with 7 or even 6 in the case of one relay race – you are looking at influences from the world of gambling, their presence at the very least tolerated by those running the major sports event in China. People who pull 15 year-olds out of the mixed zone in order to ensure a race goes a certain way tend to be the kind of people who are not that interested in reading the WADA Code.

Craig Lord

Roy: “But if sweetenham is saying that Australia should not train foreign swimmer because those swimmers are beating Australians…” He isn’t saying that. He is talking about any who test positive. He is not opposed to swimmers moving abroad to train. He is talking to a big theme: is Australia being used as a ‘safe haven’ that grants respectability and explanation when it comes to soaring results? That’s the question … and some believe that the answer is yes. If there was even a chance of that being the case, is that something that the Australian taxpayer should subsidise. Answer: no, of course not, say just about all those beyond the few coaches making money out of having Chinese programs stage themselves Down Under for several weeks at a time. It has been a notable trend for the likes of Sun Yang (he is not alone) to cite the foreign coach as the explanation for their success when talking at post-race press conferences, even though the swimmer may be spending most of his/her time back in China with home coaches and beyond the ken and jurisdiction of the foreign base.
This is an issue that applies beyond China, of course, but China stands out because it has a woeful doping record (those testing positive have often been very young, an indication of control and abuse) and is one of the least engaging of nations/slow to adopt the standards of the sport (i.e., still lots of competitions in China that go unreported, the results never making it to the book of rankings and results that provide an overall picture of depth of quality in nations etc)

gheko

The USA have had their share of cheats who train there as well!

Craig Lord

Indeed. And here, we have noted those cases, Gheko, and the poor position in which it places the coaches concerned. As Pegasus suggests, an industry/peer standard is required in which blind eyes turned in favour of the dollar taken is not the order of the day. The story above, however, is specifically about an Australian reaction to an Australian problem (which has parallels in the wider world but none quite the same as the extent of the Chinese links to Australian programs and what that has come to mean.)

gheko

Sadly there is no ethics when it comes to money!

Craig Lord

Yes, Gheko… which is why we have rules and laws and codes etc in life and sport (and those things don’t deliver a ‘perfect’ world in which everyone behaves impeccably :). What’s troubling in coaching is that there are no specific standards and codes on certain issues in many places (not to say there are no codes and standards and qualifications etc, for those do indeed exist and are enforced in some places, including the USA’s ‘Safe Sport’ after many years of woe and neglect in areas of criminality). There’s a lot more that could be done if the sport is genuine in its desire to see clean sport – and that’s an issue that some Australian coaches, among others, have not given enough thought to when blinded by the obvious attraction of a big pay day.

gheko

Yes and the reason swimmers take drugs is to win medals to make money!Clean sport has never existed and never will!

Craig Lord

Yes, it does exist, Gheko – and it always has, but it exists alongside the cheats, which I think is what you’re suggesting. It is a lie, a fallacy and a cheat’s excuse to say that all are cheating, and important to say so.

gheko

No of course not all athletes cheat but human nature being what it is, some will always find a way to be ahead of the tests!

Craig Lord

Yes, and any help in promoting the right culture from coaches would be much appreciated by those who want clean sport, including the Aussies in those Australian squads, one assumes, Gheko

jim lockier

Question please: Was Brian King paid a bonus for Sun’s success at the Worlds? King was (and still is) serving a ban from all coaching activities at the time, yet I read above article he is Appealing the ban. How can that happen – Appeal a ban but you have been coaching a drug cheat and coaching minors when SAL have sanctioned you not to? Doesn’t make sense!

Craig Lord

The dots are not joined up when it comes to handling the complex relationships of coach/swimmer across borders and boundaries national and administrative. Many are true cases of folk working on during periods of suspensions … and swim federations have failed to find the teeth to deal with some cases that stand out as examples of bad behaviour that ought not to be a part of elite sport yet remains very much a part of that realm, Jim.

jim lockier

Would King and Brown received bonuses for success at Worlds from Chinese? Is there a bonus system in place for Worlds like they reward for Olympic success?

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