söndag 17 augusti 2008

Lewis: Dope cheats should not coach

NINE-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis has called on athletics governing bodies to stop any athletes who have failed doping tests from coaching.

American Lewis also said athletes should not be allowed to coach without proper training and certification.

“This is a huge problem in our sport that needs the immediate attention,” Lewis said on Thursday.

Both the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and national federations including USA Track & Field (USATF) should take action, Lewis said.

“There are athletes who have tested positive for drugs, retired and are coaching right now,” said Lewis, who won the Olympic 100m title twice and the long jump four times.

“If you test positive and retire, you should be banned from coaching for life.”

There also should be stricter control over who is allowed to coach, Lewis said, noting that while there are certification programmes by both the IAAF and national federations, they are not as effective as they should be.

“Coaching is not just about giving workouts,” he said. “The reason coaches are good coaches is because they went to school.

“There is no other sport in the world that would allow someone to compete one year and coach a professional athlete the next year,” he said. “Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, none of them would.”

“This sport just says, ‘Oh, they are a great coach.’ Oh, no they are not.”

“I'm not qualified to be a coach and I know more than many (athletes) because I listened to coach Tellez (his former coach Tom Tellez),” Lewis said.

“But if I wanted to coach, I would go back to college. I went to massage therapy school and finished so I understand the body systems. But if I wanted to coach I would need to go back to college and get more background.

“We don't need athletes being coached by people who are inexperienced. Otherwise we are going to have athletes hurt because their coach doesn't understand the physiology of the body.” – Reuters

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