The author describes his progress from sports enthusiast to sceptic following repeated experiences, as a journalist, of frauds in high-level sports including athletics and swimming but especially cycling. These frauds involved performance-enhancing drugs and medical procedures and Walsh took the lead in exposing Lance Armstrong as a key beneficiary. The importance of asking the ‘obvious question’ to get to the truth is emphasised. Walsh stresses the role played by elected representatives and governments in a world where the governing bodies of sports have often proven inadequate to the task of maintaining fair play and good governance. In the case of cycling, and FIFA in football, it was government that initiated definitive action against fraud. Walsh argues that the nominees of governments to the presidency of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are the most effective. Walsh hopes, but is not optimistic, that a WADA investigation of doping will lead to the suspension from Olympic competition of any guilty national athletics federations, not just individual athletes. He further argues that doping in sport is a very high value fraud that governments should make a criminal offence. Finally, Walsh explains that he remains an enthusiast for sport – his scepticism is reserved for elite sports and the focus on hosting high profile events and increasing national medal tallies. He feels that this elite focus does not lead to any improvement in sport participation – even the contrary – and that getting people active should be the political priority, especially young people and those in sociallydeprived areas where participation is lowest.
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