Quite how the BOA can come under criticism for this I don’t know. It is being consistent and strong. In my opinion competing for your country at an Olympic Games is a privilege and that privilege should be taken away from anyone who has been convicted of a serious doping offence.
To my mind unless you ban a convicted doper from the Olympics there is almost no deterrent. I believe there has to be a meaningful consequence to cheating, otherwise we are not going to stop the cheats.
There has to be a price to pay over and above simply missing two years’ competition through a ban. You can miss two years’ competition just through injury alone. If the BOA is forced to back down it will be very difficult to regain that stance in the future and to me that would seem like a huge setback in the fight against drugs in sport.
We can’t control how the rest of the world conducts itself but we can make sure Great Britain does its best to maintain proper standards.
Whenever I hear of positive tests in sport the first people I think of are the victims — the silver medal winners who have been denied that golden moment that they have worked so hard for by a drug-using winner.
And those competitors who finish fourth who are denied perhaps a once in a lifetime moment on the podium and, who knows, the funding and opportunity that such a medal might have earned them after years of slogging away on their own.
Once it is proven beyond all doubt that an athlete has committed a serious doping offence and they are banned I have no sympathy, zero tolerance, for him or her as an athlete and competitor.
Yes, I have sympathy for them as individuals trying to rebuild their lives and I applaud the work that somebody like David Millar does in educating the sporting world as to how he got involved in doping and the dangers confronting competitors, especially the young.
But in my book they have still forfeited the right to compete for the ultimate prize in sport, which for me is always an Olympic gold medal.
The other big piece of news reaching us here at our training camp — Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar are also here along with team manager Shane Sutton and coach Iain Dyer — was the German team breaking our world record for the team sprint which we set in the qualifying round in Beijing.
The Germans, who set the mark of 42.914secs at the World Cup meeting in Cali, Colombia, have been going very well indeed this year and have good strength in depth so it wasn’t a complete surprise, although you never like to see a record you played a part in being broken.
I try not to dwell too much on the opposition, the focus has to be on what you are trying to achieve personally, but of course you keep an eye on the main opponents and hearing of a performance like that is very motivating.
Just after I had heard the news I had an especially testing gym session lined up which I wasn’t particularly looking forward to, but surprised myself with how well it went!
I have always enjoyed training here in Perth; this is my 12th winter camp. It’s a chance to escape the cold and wet of the UK at this time of year and really stick in a high volume of work after the first peak of the year, following the European Championships and the first round of the World Cup series.
For track sprinters, we have been doing a lot of road work in addition to the usual track and gym and this should set us up well for the following months.
Whilst I do love being out here, it’s not easy being away from family and loved ones and making that sacrifice is another motivator. You owe it to them as well as yourself to squeeze everything out of the camp.
You go into that ’camp’ mentality when you eat, live and sleep training and you can get through a mountain of work, taking one session at a time and not looking too far ahead.
A good winter training camp in Australia has always underpinned my best seasons and I would miss it if I didn’t come here. You feel like you are treading a well worn path which more often than not has led to success.
We were down here at about this time of year before the Beijing Olympics and the body remembers feeling the same, doing the same sort of sessions, feeling the same aches and soreness every night when I go to bed.
All very reassuring.