Smith astonished by Thompson

  • Last Updated: February 22 2013, 15:21 GMT

British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith has branded Tony Thompson's comments that all sportsmen should be allowed to take drugs as "mindblowing".

Tony Thompson: Has a controversial stance
Tony Thompson: Has a controversial stance

The American heavyweight, who faces Britain's David Price in Liverpool on Saturday, claims drug use in sport has become so widespread the only way to deal with the problem is to legalise doping.

Smith insisted Thompson "doesn't seem to understand British culture" and said: "It's mindblowing that a fighter who has challenged twice for the world title can come out with something like this.

"I felt sickened, to be honest, when I heard the comments.

"People are entitled to their view, but yesterday the Boxing Board held a UK Anti-Doping seminar at the Institute for Sport in Sheffield for all the UK licence holders - managers, promoters, trainers - outlining the dangers of drugs, and how it is being tackled in sport."

Smith added to The Daily Telegraph: "I'm sure everyone would expect him to be tested now, whether he himself is clean or not, before and after the fight."

Thompson, 41, who lost to Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight last July, insisted earlier today on BBC Radio Five Live he does not even like to take painkillers.

But he suspects performance-enhancing drugs are proving so damaging in professional sport that only by allowing everyone to pump currently banned substances into their body could it approach fairness.

"I know this is going to be kind of controversial for people, I think they should just allow doping, period. Because to me it's like the gun law," Thompson told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Only the good guys are listening, so it leaves the good guys without the guns.

"So you just allow everybody... it's an issue of choice; I would never want to be doing anything to alter my body down the road anyway. We all have our suspicions."

Thompson suggested sport has become mainstream entertainment and that the appetite for a show means there is a case that can be made for making it ever more spectacular.

"Sports is what it is - it's entertainment," he said.

"It's like having too many special effects in a movie. You go to the movies to be entertained; you watch sports and you ask to be entertained and we want our athletes to be the biggest, the baddest they can be - regardless of how level the playing field is - and in the end we want our athletes to be heroes and to be great and to be bigger than life.

"All of the money that we're using to catch cheats and supplement your body in sports should be used for other things. This is sports. This is not insider training. This is not eliminating hunger in the world. It's just sports.

"And I think we put too much emphasis on what it is that athletes are doing. A lot of the time you've got to leave it up to athletes. It's a person's choice, such as abortion and other things we don't agree with."

Thompson added that he would not consider taking the doping route himself.

"My son plays football and basketball and the last thing I want to do is inject him with anything that's going to alter his natural body rhythm. Same with myself - I don't even like to take Aspirin," he said.

But he would leave it to others to reach their own decision, adding: "That's their choice.

"Some of the things we use to dope actually helps the body. If the athlete was allowed safe levels of most of this stuff it would not only enhance their careers it would enhance their life after sports."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week